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:Indian Ocean
Widespread Western Pacific from southern Japan to a northern Australia, ranging to the west mainland Asian coast and into the Indian Ocean to southern Sumatra, whilst in the east to at least Irian Jaya. Occurs in coral rich areas in lagoons or coastal reefs, shallow to about 20m deep. Adults normally in pairs, whilst subadults sometimes aggregate in small groups and juveniles solitary. Diet comprises algae, sponges and tunicates. Adults and juveniles are similar and recognised by their eye-band (as seen in butterflyfishes), followed by white that grades into black and a bright yellow tail. The snout is yellow whilst lips and dorsal and anal fin margins are blue. The sexes seem identical in colour. Reaches 18cm.