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.
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Place of origin:Caribbean
Tropical western and south-eastern Atlantic: from the Bermudas to Georgia, mainland U.S.A., and into Gulf of Mexico, the Caribbean Sea and along the Brazilian coast south to its remote island of Trindade. Inhabits seaweed-covered shallow reef platforms to outer reefs to depths of about 90m. Adults feed almost exclusively on the sponges encrusted on the rocks (up to 99%). The rock beauties normally occur in pairs, but also form harem-like small groups defended by the male who claims a territory. Spawns during dusk, and normally in the few days leading up to full moon. Whilst the males may spawn with several females in one session, the females participate only once. The adult Rock Beauty is readily identified by the unmistakable black and yellow colouration. Anterior third of body and caudal fin yellow, rest of body black. Also conspicuous are its blue lips and the blue upper and lower part of the eye. Small juveniles are brilliantly yellow, and have a large blue-ringed ocellus near the caudal fin. This ocellus expands during growth, and gives rise to the typical black colouration. Length to 30cm.