Orangeback Angelfish, Centropyge acanthops (Norman 1922)

Other Names: African Cherubfish, African Pygmy Angelfish, Flameback Angelfish, Jumping Bean

An Orangeback Angelfish, Centropyge acanthops, in an aquarium. Source: Robert Fenner / Wet Web Media License: All rights reserved

A dark bluish to blackish angelfish with the head, upper sides, dorsal, and caudal fins golden yellow to orange, and numerous close-set purple spots on the anal fin.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Centropyge acanthops in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 May 2024,

Orangeback Angelfish, Centropyge acanthops (Norman 1922)

More Info


Recorded from the Australian territory of Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the Western Indian Ocean from East Africa, South Africa, Mozambique Channel, Seychelles, Madagascar and western Mascarenes east to Maldives and Chagos Archipelago.

Species Citation

Holacanthus acanthops Norman 1922, Ann. Mag. Nat. Hist. (9)9(52): 318. Type locality: Durban/eThekwini, KwaZulu-Natal, South Africa, southwestern Indian Ocean.


Dianne J. Bray

Orangeback Angelfish, Centropyge acanthops (Norman 1922)


Allen, G.R., R. Steene & M. Allen, 1998. A guide to angelfishes and butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. 250 pp.

Fricke, R. 2010. Centropyge acanthops. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 14 February 2015.

Heemstra, P.C. E. Heemstra. 2004. Coastal fishes of southern Africa. NISC and SAIAB. i-xxiv + 1-488.

Hobbs, J-P.A., S .J. Newman, G.E.A. Mitsopoulos, M.J. Travers, C.L. Skepper, J.J. Gilligan, G.R. Allen, H.J. Choat & A.M. Ayling. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219. PDF

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 (open access)

Norman, J.R. 1922. Three new fishes from Zululand and Natal, collected by Mr. H. W. Bell Marley; with additions to the fish fauna of Natal. Annals and Magazine of Natural History (9)9(52): 318-322.

Schindler, I. & Schneidewind, F. 2004. Revision of Centropyge fisheri (Snyder, 1904) (Teleostei, Pomacanthidae). Zeitschrift für Fischkunde 7(1): 31-42. (considered a synonym of C. fisheri)

Quick Facts

Biology:Capable of changing sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:6-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map