Australian Scribbled Angelfish

by Kevin Kohen on April 6, 2010

The Australian Scribbled Angelfish are incredible fish that grow to just over 10.5″ in length, and are normally found in shallow water (20 meters or less) on coral covered or rocky rubble habitats. The range of these fish is somewhat narrow, and they can be found in tropical water around the coasts of northern Australia, from northwest Western Australia, east to Queensland, up to the southern parts of Indonesia, as well as southern New Guinea.

In my opinion these fish are both sexually dimorphic and sexually dichromatic, as mature males can be distinguished from females by their coloration and a few key features. This species appear to mature when they reach 5-6″ in length, as some of the male characteristics start to become visible.

The Differences Between Male and Female Australian Scribbled Angelfish – Chaetodontoplus duboulayi:

Female Chaetodontoplus duboulayi:
These fish are normally very dark blue to purple coloration with a pale yellow and blue/purple peppered spotting pattern on the sides of the fish that run through the caudal peduncle (base of the tail). The caudal (tail) fin is more rounded and is solid yellow in coloration with clear margins at the edge.

Male Chaetodontoplus duboulayi:
Mature males are normally vivid blue, with fine horizontal stripes running down the length of the body. The caudal peduncle (base of the tail) is yellow with fine dark blue and orange spots. The caudal fin is bright yellow with fine orange spots, with the upper and lower lobes being pointed.

Below are some examples of male and female Scribbled Angelfish:

Young Female:

Young Female

Young Female

Young Male:

Young Male

Young Male

Mature Female:

Mature Female

Mature Female

Mature Male:

Mature Male

Mature Male


About the author: Kevin earned his Bachelor of Science degree from Wright State University, and is an avid marine life photographer, lifelong aquarist, and marine fish enthusiast. He has worked in the aquarium industry since 1983. He launched the LiveAquaria.com web site in 2000 and designed and oversaw the installation of the Drs. Foster and Smith Aquaculture Coral and Marine Life Facility, which opened in July of 2005. Kevin is currently the Director of LiveAquaria at Drs. Foster and Smith. See more articles by Kevin Kohen.

{ 1 comment… read it below or add one }

Mark R May 19, 2010 at 2:34 pm

This is my Favorite Angel fish. I have a male that is doing well in my fish only tank.

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