Hybrids between Centropyge flavissima and C. vrolikii are frequently seen at Kwajalein, and are far more common than one of the parents, C. vrolikii. C. vrolikii is so rare at Kwaj, and apparently these two species are so closely related that they must smell similar, that most C. vrolikii matings take place with C. flavissima. This also hints that the larvae of C. flavissima/C. vrolikii pairings tend to stay around the atoll rather than drifting off with the currents. Of course, that is a guess, but it would be interesting to try to test it. Hybrids tend to be quite variable in color, but usually are characterized by the yellow body and blue markings of C. flavissima and the black posterior body and tail of C. vrolikii. Often there are blue spots within the black and sometimes within the yellow. Hybrids usually belong to small groups of C. flavissima and the color variety of hybrids, which usually seem to be dominated by the C. flavissima colors, would suggest that perhaps the hybrids are fertile and can freely mate with C. flavissima. We do know for sure if that is the case. There is a juvenile tang that sometimes mimics these hybrid angels.
With the genetic mixing between the two species, you can get some pretty wild colors.
The two below are dominated by C. flavissima colors, but the scattered blue and black spots indicate they may have some C. vrolikii blood.
And what about this one. Another C. flavissima with a trace of C. vrolikii blood or just a blue spotted C. flavissima?
Created 16 September 2010
Updated 4 October 2016
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