Coral Beauty, Centropyge bispinosa (Günther 1860)

Other Names: Twospine Angelfish, Two-spined Angelfish

A Coral Beauty, Centropyge bispinosa, being cleaned by Labroides dimidiata, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Andy Lewis / Lizard Island Field Guide, License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A dark purplish-blue pygmy angelfish with irregular bright orange vertical bars on the midsides, and a bright blue margin on the dorsal, caudal and anal fins.

Pygmy angelfishes are hermaphrodites, and may change sex from female to male during their life cycle.  

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Centropyge bispinosa in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024,

Coral Beauty, Centropyge bispinosa (Günther 1860)

More Info


Recorded in the Australian region from Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, WA, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and Raine Island, QLD, to Bass Point, NSW; also Christmas Island (Indian Ocean), Lord Howe Island and Norfolk Island, Elizabeth Reef and Middleton Reef, Tasman Sea, and Ashmore Reef and Kenn Reef, Coral Sea. 

Widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific, from East Africa to the Tuamotu Islands (French Polynesia) in the South Pacific, northwards to the Izu Islands (Japan), and south as Lord Howe Island (Australia).

Live in small haremic groups of an adult male and up to semales and juveniles. Inhabit lagoon and outer reef dropoffs in areas with rich coral growth.

Species Citation

Holacanthus bispinosus Günther, 1860, Cat. Fishes Brit. Mus. 2: 48 (nom. nov. for Chaetodon diacanthus Bleeker, 1857). Type locality: Ambon Sea, Indonesia (as Sea of Amboyna).


Dianne J. Bray

Coral Beauty, Centropyge bispinosa (Günther 1860)


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

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

Bleeker, P. 1857. Achtste bijdrage tot de kennis der vischfauna van Amboina. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Indo-Neerlandicae 2: 1-102.

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Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

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Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93 in Hutchings, P. (ed.). Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp.

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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

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.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Konow, N. & D.R. Bellwood. 2011. Evolution of high trophic diversity based on limited functional disparity in the feeding apparatus of marine angelfishes (f. Pomacanthidae). PLoS One 6(9) e 24113. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0024113.

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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.

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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.

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

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:37365023

Biology:Changes sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-50 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map