Abstract:Successful natural spawning of Pomacanthus semicirculatus in captivity from 11 September to 18 October, 2006 is described for the first time. Each female laid an average of 230 000 eggs during the spawning period. Fertilized eggs were spherical, transparent and buoyant and had a mean diameter of 0.61 ± 0.03 mm (mean ± SD). Embryonic development lasted 18–21 h at 28.5 °C. Newly hatched larvae were 1.35 ± 0.02 mm in total length (TL) with 27 (12+15) myomeres and had an oil globule in the ventroposterior area of the yolk sac. Larvae completed yolk absorption within 3 days post hatching at 2.37 ± 0.05 mm TL. Larvae were fed either 100% microalgae (Nannochloropsis sp.), 100% s-type rotifers (Brachionus rotundiformis), 100% dinoflagellates (Gonyaulax sp.) or different combinations of the three (50%:50%:0%, 30%:35%:35%) to determine the effect of live feed on the survival rate. The survival was significantly (P<0.001) better in larvae fed a combination of diets (30%: 35%: 35%) than others. These results indicate that P. semicirculatus is a potential species for captive-breeding programmes and the use of a combination of diets (microalgae plus s-type rotifers and dinoflagellates) may be a suitable first food for fish larvae.