Chaetodontoplus melanosoma, L

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Velvet Angel. Chaetodontoplus melanosoma. Care: Intermediate. Diet: Omnivorous. Light: Medium. Place of origin: Western Pacific

Western Pacific, Philippines and Indonesia. Occurs on coastal and outer reef slopes at moderate depths to 30m, usually in strong current habitats where holding up in caves. In Indonesia this species is recorded from Bali from where it ranges east to Flores and Solor Island, and north via the Wallace's Line to the Philippines. Records from elsewhere are not this, but similar species. Adults are almost completely black and feature a thin yellow margin posteriorly on the median fins. The head and part of the upper body is somewhat paler than the rest of the body. Juveniles have a black band on the caudal fin that gradually reduces with growth, whilst the black of the body creeps onto caudal fin. Distinguished from the similar Chaetodontoplus dimidiatus in having a mostly black versus completely yellow tail and body colouration. Often shipped from the Philippines. Fully grown individuals are rather difficult to acclimatise in the home aquarium, but juveniles or subadults could be kept for a long period. Attains a length of 20cm.