Pterophyllum “California”

20. March 2024

The freshwater angelfish (Pterophyllum) is one of the most popular ornamental fish of all. The species name Pterophyllum scalare is usually chosen for the cultivated forms, although this does not describe the situation correctly from a scientific point of view. The cultivated forms, which were mainly created in the 1940s to 1960s, are partly based on mutations – i.e. sudden, spontaneous changes in the genetic material – but also partly on the crossing of different wild forms. For this reason, the names of the cultivated forms of the angelfish – similar to roses and other garden flowers – are better written without the scientific species name, but only the genus name and the variety.

We do not know exactly when the cultivar “California” was created. It first appeared in our stocklist in February 2012 and has been firmly established in our assortment ever since. So far, at least we have only obtained it from European offspring. It is a side line of the marbled angel that has been known for decades. Another name for the “California” is “map angel“. We have not yet been able to find out where the name “California” originally came from; it may have been a breeder from California who first marketed it under this name.

There are no two specimens of the “California” that look exactly the same. This results in a very varied appearance and explains the popularity of this breed. Care and breeding are no different from other angelfish, so keep them in groups in spacious aquaria with well-maintained, low-germ water at 22-28°C and you will have a lot of fun with them.

For our customers: the animals have code 693832 on our stocklist. Please note that we only supply the wholesale trade.

Text & photos: Frank Schäfer