Eibl's Angelfish, Centropyge eibli Klausewitz 1963

Other Names: Blacktail Angelfish, Dwarf Eibli Angelfish, Eible's Angelfish

Eibl's Angelfish, Centropyge eibli, at Menjangan Island, Bali, Indonesia. Source: Sally Polack / FishWise Professional. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A pale greyish pygmy angelfish with narrow orange to brownish wavy bars on the sides, an orange ring around the eye, a black tail and tail base, and a bright blue margin on the caudal fin.
This species is easily confused with juvenile Indian Ocean Mimic Surgeonfish, Acanthurus tristis, which mimic Eibl's Angelfish.

The recent description of Centropyge cocosensis (Shen et al. 2016) is not supported by DiBattista et al. (2016) who suggest that this yellow form may be a hybrid between C. eibli and C. vrolikii based on genetic studies.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Centropyge eibli in Fishes of Australia, accessed 17 Jun 2024, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2499

Eibl's Angelfish, Centropyge eibli Klausewitz 1963

More Info


Recorded in the Australian region from Ningaloo Reef, Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean.
Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical East-Indo-west-Pacific from the Maldives and Sri Lanka to north-western Australia, and throughout much of Indonesia eastwards to Flores.
Inhabits shallow coral rich areas in reef lagoons, seaward reefs and occasionally surge channels. Usually seen in a small harem group of a male and several females.


Omnivore - feeds mostly on filamentous algae.


DiBattista et al. (2016) do not consider Centropyge cocosensis to be a valid species but rather an intermediate between sympatric color morphs that correspond to the putative species C. eibli and C. vrolikii.

Species Citation

Centropyge eibli Klausewitz, 1963, Senckenberg. Biolog. 44(3): 178. Type locality: Castle Bay, Tillanchong, Nicobar Island. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Australian Faunal Directory

Eibl's Angelfish, Centropyge eibli Klausewitz 1963


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & Allen, M.A. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Cairns : Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research 250 pp. figs.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Debelius, H., Tanaka, H. & Kuiter, R.H. 2003. Angelfishes, a comprehensive guide to Pomacanthidae. TMC Publishing, Chorley.

Delrieu-Trottin, E., Shen, K-N., Chang, C-W., Borsa, P. 2017. One species hypothesis to rule them all: consistency is essential to delimitate species. Journal of Heredity 108(3): 334–336, https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esx008

DiBattista, J.D., Gaither, M.R., Hobbs, J.-P.A, Rocha, L.A. &, Bowen, B.W. 2016 Angelfishes, paper tigers, and the devilish taxonomy of the Centropyge flavissima complex. Journal of Heredity107(7): 647-653. https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esw062

DiBattista, J.D., Gaither, M.R., Hobbs, J.-P.A., Rocha, L.A. & Bowen, B.W. 2017. Response to Delrieu-Trottin et al.: Hybrids, color variants and the consistently devilish taxonomy of pygmy angelfishes. Journal of Heredity 108(3): 337-339 https://doi.org/10.1093/jhered/esx009

DiBattista, J.D., Waldrop, E., Bowen, B.W., Schultz, J.K., Gaither, M.R., Pyle, R.L. & Rocha, L.A. 2012. Twisted sister species of pygmy angelfishes: discordance between taxonomy, coloration, and phylogenetics. Coral Reefs 31: 839–851 https://doi.org/10.1007/s00338-012-0907-y

Gaither, M.R., Schultz, J.K., Bellwood, D.,  Rocha, L., Pyle, R.L., DiBattista, J.D. & Bowen, B.W. 2014. Evolution of the pygmy angelfishes: recent divergences, introgression, and the usefulness of color as a taxonomic trait. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 74: 38–47. https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2014.01.017

Hobbs, J.P.A. & Allen, G.R. 2014. Hybridisation among coral reef fishes at Christmas Island and the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 220–226.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Klausewitz, W. 1963. Centropyge eibli n. sp. von den Nikobaren (Pisces, Percoidea, Pomacanthidae). Senckenbergiana Biologica 44(3): 177-181 figs 1-3

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R.H., Debelius, H. & Tanaka, H. 2003. Pomacanthidae, a Comprehensive Guide to Angelfishes. Melbourne : Zoonetics 206 pp.

Pyle, R. 2001. Chaetodontidae, Pomacanthidae. pp. 3224-3286 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, V.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 5 2791-3379 pp.

Pyle, R., Myers, R. & Rocha, L.A. 2010. Centropyge eibli. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 25 February 2014.

Shen, K.N., Chang, C.W., Delrieu-Trottin, E. & Borsa, P. 2016. Lemonpeel (Centropyge flavissima) and yellow (C. heraldi) pygmy angelfishes each consist of two geographically isolated sibling species. Marine Biodiversity 47(3): 831-845. doi: 10.1007/s12526-016-0509-y Abstract

Steene, R.C. 1978. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. Australia. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reed Vol. 1 144 pp. 216 figs.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365024


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:15 cm TL

Depth:3-30 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

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CAAB distribution map