A rare ocean creature has found a home at the Waikiki Aquarium, and it looks a lot like a swimming piece of candy. The peppermint angelfish (Centyropyge boylei) is the only one of its kind on display at a public aquarium. And unlike the seasonal peppermint candies we enjoy during the holidays, this peppermint can be appreciated anytime you visit Oahu.

The prized peppermint angelfish on public display.

Coming from Tahiti waters, the striped beauty is on permanent loan to the aquarium by the Smithsonian Institute. Bishop Museum researcher Dr. Richard Pyle collected the angelfish in 400 feet of water. I’m guessing it might have been difficult to catch, as it’s only one and a half inches in length.

It will also be an opportunity for the staff to study the fish since the aquarium is primarily a research-based institution. The angelfish will join several other unique species in the aquarium’s collection that are seen nowhere else in the world.

Some fish websites are calling this peppermint angelfish the apex of holy grail reef fish, a beautiful demigod and “one of those angels that you can easily remortgage your house for.” Forums estimate the fish to be worth up to $12,000 in retail value. The Honolulu Magazine says collectors have offered prices as high as $30,000 for the exotic fish. At that value, it should almost be swimming around wearing a diamond ring!

RARE PEPPERMINT ANGELFISH • Waikiki Aquarium, 2777 Kalakaua Ave., Honolulu, HI 96815 • Opens daily 9am-430pm (special hours for holidays) • www.waquarium.org

Photo Credit: Waikiki Aquarium


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