They are commonly referred to as pygmy angelfishes, due to their generally much smaller size than other angelfish genera. The species are variably distributed in tropical and subtropical seas of the world. Few have large geographical distributions and some are endemic to tiny oceanic outposts, an island , or small island group. They occur on algal-rocky and coral reefs, and most species live in shallow waters at depths to about 15m, but some range to 70m or more, and a few inhabit only depths of more than 50m. Pygmy angelfishes are quick-darting and often shy species that hug the substrates with tunnels and crevices, ready to disappear and appear again several metres away.
- Care Sheets
Place of origin:Western Pacific
Widespread Western Pacific, ranging from the Ryukyus, Japan, to the Great Barrier Reef, scattered localities in the South Pacific, Samoa and east to the Society Islands, straying to Easter Island, and also at Cocos Keeling and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Inhabits crevices and caves on outer reef slopes or drop-offs at depths of 20m or more. Seems to have a preference for larger reef overhangs, especially where sponges grow from the ceilings and often swims upside down in such places. This species is readily identified by its distinctive colour pattern of alternating black and white bands, the black changing to yellow ventrally. Juveniles feature a reflective blue spot, edged with white anteriorly, on the end of the dorsal fin. Length to 12cm.