Griffis’ angel, Apolemichthys griffisi


Matt Clarke spotlights a marine angel that originates from the middle of nowhere!

Scientific name: Apolemichthys griffisi (Carlson and Taylor 1981).
Common name: Griffis’ angel.
Origin: Found in the Pacific Ocean from the Indo-Malayan region to the Line Islands in the Pacific south of Hawaii.
Most specimens have been collected from Kiribati, a group of 32 coral atolls straddling the equator between Australia and South America.
Size: Up to 30cm/12”, but usually not more than 20-25cm/8-10”.
Diet: According to ichthyologist Richard Pyle, A. griffisi feeds mainly on sponges and tunicates.

Aquarium: This is a very rarely seen angel as it’s from the middle of nowhere! As a result, hardly anything has been written about keeping the fish in aquaria. Apparently most of them are being imported from the Line Islands and Christmas Island.

A. griffisi is said to occur on outer reef slopes and drop-offs at depths of 15-100m/50-330’ and is seen individually, in pairs and, when juvenile, in small groups.

Notes: This species is named after the late conservationist Nixon Griffis.
Availability: We spotted this on a recent visit to The Abyss in Manchester. It’s one of the first we’ve seen on sale here and is reportedly not a common fish in the wild, hence the price!
Price: On sale for £500.

This item first appeared in the May 2010 issue of Practical Fishkeeping magazine. It may not be reproduced without written permission.