Bicolor Angelfish, Centropyge bicolor (Bloch 1787)

Other Names: Bicoloured Angelfish, Black And Gold Angel-fish, Blue & Gold Angelfish, Blue And Gold Angelfish

A Bicolor Angelfish, Centropyge bicolor, at South West Rocks, New South Wales, May 2013. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

An easily recognised pygmy angelfish with the head and anterior body bright yellow, the rear a brilliant deep blue, a broad blue bar above the eye, and a yellow caudal fin.
Bicolor Angelfish live haremic groups containing a male and up to 7 females in descending size order. If the male disappears, the top ranking female will change sex and assume leadership of the harem.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Centropyge bicolor in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 May 2022,

Bicolor Angelfish, Centropyge bicolor (Bloch 1787)

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Recorded in the Australian region from Quobba, Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and reefs in the Torres Strait, Queensland, with juveniles to at least Sydney, New South Wales; also reefs in the Coral Sea.

Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the tropical, east-Indo-west-central Pacific, from the Indo-Malayan region to the Line Islands, northward to southern Japan, and southward to New Caledonia.

Inhabits rich coral areas on exposed and semi-exposed reef slopes, drop-offs channels and lagoons, usually in depths below 5 metres. Bicolor Angelfishes swim near the bottom, never venturing far from the shelter of holes and crevices in the reef.


A benthic omnivore - feeds on algae, crustaceans, polychaete worms and other invertebrates. 


Bicolor Angelfish are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that they are initially all female and are capable of changing sex to become males. Throughout the year, males maintain a harem of up to seven adult and immature females. Spawning occurs from November to March.
The females live in a social heirarchy. If the male disappears, the top ranking female will change sex to become a male and assume leadership of the harem.


Common in the aquarium fish industry, although difficult to keep in captivity.

Species Citation

Chaetodon bicolor Bloch, 1787,  Naturgesch. ausländ. Fische 3: 94. Type locality: East Indies.


Bray, D.J. 2020

Bicolor Angelfish, Centropyge bicolor (Bloch 1787)


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37365022

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-25 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map