Yellow Angelfish, Centropyge heraldi Woods & Schultz 1953

Other Names: Herald's Angelfish, Very Drab, Woodhead's Angelfish

A Yellow Angelfish, Centropyge heraldi, sheltering in the back of a small cave at North Solitary Island, New South Wales, 10 October 2015. Source: Ian V. Shaw / ALA. License: CC by Attribution


A bright yellow to yellowish-orange pygmy angelfish with a dusky olive patch surrounding yellowish-orange spots behind the eye.

Individuals from some areas (including the Coral Sea) have a black mark on the soft dorsal fin. Although Kuiter (1998) described them as a new species (Centropyge woodwardi), they are considered to be a colour form of the Yellow Angelfish.

Video of a pair of Yellow Angelfish (aka heraldi angelfish) filmed during a deep dive at Rarotonga, in the Cook Islands - about 4 mins 20 secs into the video.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Centropyge heraldi in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Sep 2020,

Yellow Angelfish, Centropyge heraldi Woods & Schultz 1953

More Info


Found in Australian region from the Great Barrier Reef south to the Solitary Islands, New South Wales, and reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Western-central-Pacific, usually on outer reef slopes.


Hermaphrodite - changes sex from female to male. Forms harems of 2-4 individuals.

Species Citation

Centropyge heraldi Woods & Schultz 1953, Bull. U. S. Natl Mus. 202(1): 602. Type locality: Bikini Atoll.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Yellow Angelfish, Centropyge heraldi Woods & Schultz 1953


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

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1998. A new pygmy anglefish (Teleostoi: Perciformes: Pomacanthidae) from the Coral Sea. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 3(2): 85-88. (as Centropyge woodheadi)

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. & Rocha, L.A. 2010. Centropyge heraldi. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165848A6147706. Downloaded on 16 May 2018.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E. & Carlson, B.A. 2000. Centropyge woodheadi Kuiter 1998, a synonym of C. heraldi Woods and Schults 1953. Aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 4(1): 1-4.

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2

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.

Woods, L.P. & Schultz, L.P. 1953. Subfamily Pomacanthinae. 597-608 figs 88, 89, pls 55b, c, 57b, 59 in Schultz, L.P., Herald, E.S., Lachner, E.A., Welander, A.D. & Woods, L.P. (eds). Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Vol. 1. Families Asymmetrontidae through Siganidae. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 202(1): 1-685, figs 1-90, pls 1-74

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365027


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-90 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map