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:Melanesia
Southern Queenland to Lord Howe & Norfolk Islands & New Caledonia with expatriates as far south as Sydney. Adults inhabit coral-rich outer reef slopes at depths of about 20 to 40m, but many venture much shallower. Juveniles are usually in the shallows of lagoons and harbours at depths of 2-10m. Adults are readily identified by their yellow face with a distinct blue ring encircling each eye and blue margins on the preoperculum and operculum. Mouth white with black band behind, ventral fins white, and median fins have bluish white edges. Pectorals and caudal fins are yellow at the base with broad black outer parts. Small juveniles are black with a white dorsal fin and have a thin white band on their otherwise clear caudal fin. With growth, the caudal fin becomes black and a yellow or white band develops near its base, whilst the upper sides of the body pales to a brown orange colour. Elongated adults are thought to be males. Length to 25cm.