Steve Robinson of Cortez Marine writes:
For years we have heard a rumor of a white Cortez angelfish seen in the Mulege region of Baja Calif Sur, Mexico. The “ghost” was seen once in 2008 and not caught by an inexperienced collector.
Recently a red passer angel was allegedly sighted off Loreto. The diver thought it was a hybrid. We returned to the site with 4 divers and dove for hours, not finding it. We have been chasing after an all black passer angel for some time now – jet black it was said – and with a white tail. I personally have spent three days looking for this one.
When not found or proven, these sightings may be dismissed as mistaken identity by the untrained eye … or exaggerations. We cannot be faulted for hoping them to be true, and sometimes we have wasted all day looking for them,catching neither them or anything else. It is risky looking for rare fish as failure may result in no income at all for the day.
But … for those who dare and risk and spend enough time in the water … once in awhile you get rewarded. Such a reward has just come to pass! The “white ghost” Cortez angel was just seen this week … and collected …and its in our facility here in SF. It was real. HE IS REAL!
Hes a changing-phase, “teenage” Cortez Angel (Pomacanthus zonipectus) … probably a year old. That gives him another 15 years or so with good care.
White reef angels are for sure rare as they are easily predated upon, especially in the smaller sizes. This guy survived long enough to grow to a stronger size and become tough enough to make it. Unlike clarions and hybrids, this fish is a once in a lifetime collection for us and one not to be repeated I’m sure.
In addition to the “Ghost of Cortez,” many normally pigmented Cortez and Passer Angelfish are now stateside and should soon be available at your preferred livestock vendor.