A couple of days ago, we caught wind of a once-in-a-lifetime fish, the Peppermint Angelfish (Paracentropyge boylei), being donated to the Waikiki Aquarium by Richard Pyle. The rare and stunning angel is only one of two total P. boylei known to be alive in captivity, and biologists at the world famous aquarium get to ogle at it all day long while it sits on quarantine awaiting to be unveiled to the aquarium going world. Consider us extremely jealous. Fortunately, we got our mitts on some deepwater diving footage to help ease those envious pains. Shot by Dave Pence during a very recent trip to Moorea, which is a moderately sized island smack dab in the middle of the Pacific Ocean in French Polynesia, the P. boylei can be seen in its natural deepwater habitat. Making this clip even more important is the fact that this video represents the very first time P. boylei has been filmed in the wild. Plenty of videos do exist of the angelfish in captivity, but it’s an entirely different thing to see it cruising the rock crevices of its home turf. With all of the amazing anthias and angelfish swimming around at these depths, the video doesn’t focus solely on the peppermint angel, which doesn’t even show up in the video until approximately the 2:40 mark. If you want to fast forward to that spot, we’d completely understand, though the video in its entirety is worth the watch.
According to the video’s description, the dive takes place at a depth of 100-110 meters during a trip in February of this year. And besides showing off the P. boylei angelfish, the clip also reveals a couple of unsubscribed species of Chromis, as well as a couple of anthias species (Pseudanthias privitera and P. ventralis), and the beautiful bellus angel (Genicanthus bellus) just to name a few.
You might also notice the diving gear isn’t your typical SCUBA tank and BCD. Instead, specialized re-breathing equipment is needed to get down to these extraordinary depths, which surpass 300 feet!
Special thanks to Tal Sweet for sharing this amazing video with us.