Cocos Pygmy Angelfish, Centropyge joculator Smith-Vaniz & Randall 1974

Other Names: Cocos Angelfish, Yellowhead Angelfish

Cocos Pygmy Angelfish, Centropyge joculator. Source: Robert Fenner / Wet Web Media License: All rights reserved

A dark blue angelfish with a bright yellow head and anterior body, a blue ring around the eye, and a yellow tail. The species is only known from the Australian territories of Christmas and Cocos (Keeling) islands in the eastern Indian Ocean.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Centropyge joculator in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Jan 2022,

Cocos Pygmy Angelfish, Centropyge joculator Smith-Vaniz & Randall 1974

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Known only from the Cocos (Keeling) Islands (Australia) and Christmas Island (Australia) in the eastern Indian Ocean. Inhabits coral and rubble areas on steep outer reef slopes and drop-offs, usually in small groups of four to five individuals.

Species Citation

Centropyge joculator Smith-Vaniz & Randall, 1974, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Philad. 126: 106, figs. 1-4. Type locality: Turks Reef, Cocos-Keeling Islands [12°06'30"S, 96°49'35"E]. 


Dianne J. Bray

Cocos Pygmy Angelfish, Centropyge joculator Smith-Vaniz & Randall 1974


Allen, G.R. 1980. Butterfly and Angelfishes of the World. New York : John Wiley & Sons Vol. 2 pp. 149-352 figs 214-510.

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

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

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. 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.

Endoh, K. 2007. Angelfishes of the World. Two Little Fishies, Inc., Miami Gardens, Florida.

Hobbs, J-P.A., L. van Herwerden, D.R. Jerry, G.P. Jones & P.L. Munday. 2013. High genetic diversity in geographically remote populations of endemic and widespread coral reef angelfishes (genus: Centropyge). Diversity 5: 39-50. doi:10.3390/d5010039

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

Pyle, R., Myers, R., Rocha, L.A. & Craig, M.T. 2010. Centropyge joculator. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 25 April 2014.

Smith-Vaniz, W.F. & Randall, J.E. 1974. Two new species of angelfishes (Centropyge) from the Cocos-Keeling Islands. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 126: 105-113

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365750

Biology:Capable of changing sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:8-70 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:9 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map