Clarion Angelfish (Holacanthus clarionensis) Spotted at B-Box Aquarium


Over recent weeks, the hobby has seen a nice influx of arguably one of the most beautiful and rare angelfish in the world, the Clarion Angel (Holacanthus clarionensis). A few individuals have surfaced at online, with one particularly handsome looking fish showing up at B-Box Aquarium, who are pretty well known for their ability to scoop up the rare and unusual. The Japan-based dealer of exotic marine ornamentals was kind enough to share this beauty with the online aquarium community through the video posted above, and although it’s a brief clip, it gives us plenty to drool over. Besides being extremely vibrant in color, the Clarion angel appears well fed and eager to be unleashed into the beautiful display tank in the background.

The stunning Clarion angelfish hail from the eastern side of the Pacific Ocean, being found primarily in Baja Peninsula and surrounding waters. They are particularly rare, especially in the aquarium trade, and ofter fetch more than $3000 per individual. And like with all angelfish, the juvenile Clarion angels are brilliantly colored with a vibrant orange body and neon blue stripes. These stripes do fade as the fish matures, often giving way to a much more muted orange base color as it matures. Unlike most other rare gems of the aquarium trade, this angel isn’t found at extreme depths, usually hanging out well within the diving limits of traditional SCUBA gear.


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  • clippo

    “found primarily at Clipperton Island and surrounding waters”.
    They are primarily found at Revillagigedo Islands which is a long way from Clipperton. Commercial fish collections at Clipperton Atoll are, and always have been prohibited, so any fish from there entering the trade will have been collected illegally. Some stray Clarion individuals do turn up at Clipperton I believe.

    Species like H. clarionensis and H. limbaughi really shouldn’t be collected commercially in my opinion due to their extreme vulnerability and limited range.

    Steve Robinson from Cortez Marine, the operation behind this shipment, was convicted for smuggling fish recently by the way. Still if whoever buys these fish can live with the fact that their fish comes from a dubious source and is listed as vulnerable in the wild then thats fine I guess?

    • You’re totally right about the location. In writing the article, I had the Baja Peninsula as the location, but the session timed out when I went to save the article (prior to publishing) and the entire article was lost. When I went back to rewrite the article, I do so hastily and used the wrong location. I was recalling a few photos from a collection trip to Clipperton Atoll where a few Clarions were collected. It has been updated accordingly.

      As for the rest of your comments, I agree with you to some extent. The fish are very limited and if they are to be collected, it should be done so in small numbers and only sporadically. So far, that seems to be the case in most instances, but you’ve also got a good point with the source of the fish. Steve was arrested/slapped on the wrist for illegal collecting activities (whether he meant to or not is beside the point).