The members of the family Pomacanthidae are generally know as angelfishes and, like their nearest cousins, the butterflyfishes, are regarded by many divers and aquarists as being amongst the most beautiful and majestic fishes in the sea. The majority of species occur on shallow reefs in coral, algae and sponge zones, most going little deeper than about 30m but where conditions are pristine and water is very clear, many species go much deeper and few species only live deep (over 100m). Angelfishes feature a large and distinctive backward-protruding spine from the lower corner of the gill-plate (cheek spine) from which the family name was derived. This cheek-spine is diagnostic for all the species , even at juvenile stage, and readily separates any angelfishes from butterflyfishes that may be similar in shape. Mot angelfishes are robust with compressed, ovate to rhomboid shaped bodies, covered with small or tiny scales, and have a continuous dorsal fin. The mouth is small and jaws are set with many small, usually tricuspid teeth that are used for grazing algae or scraping sponges and other sessile invertebrates. Few species combine their diet with a variety of foods and some are planktivores.
- Care Sheets
Place of origin:Red Sea
Red Sea from Hurghada south, ranging into the western Gulf of Aden, but not reaching the coast of Oman. A solitary and usually shy species, inhabiting protected shallow lagoon reefs to about 20m depth, preferring the silty water of muddy reefs where visibility is often poor. Adults are iridescent blue and black with a a bright yellow band from just above the anus into the dorsal fin, and yellow caudal fin. Juveniles have alternating thin blue and white vertical lines. With growth, a yellow bar develops centrally on the body below the dorsal fin and above the abdomen, changing gradually to the adult stage at a length of about 4-6cm. Length to 40cm, but usually to 25cm.