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:Coral Sea
Eastern Australia from far north Queensland to the Sydney region of New South Wales. Occurs on coastal and inner reefs, usually in sponge and seawhip habitats and adults feed primarily on sponges. Large adults usually on deep reefs, at 30m or more. Juveniles are often in shallow protected harbours and bays. Adults with dark bluish-black covering from caudal peduncle, dorsal and anal fins to dorsal origin above and pectoral fin and almost reaching ventral fins below, then abruptly changing to a pale colour, and yellow tail. The head is mostly blue and adorned with numerous yellow spots, yellow over nape, followed by a plain pale that ranges from pure white to pale blue. Pectoral fin mostly black with yellow margin. Juveniles are mostly black with a yellow tail and ventral fins and a white head-band behind the eye. Length to at least 25cm.