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Africanus Angel


Africanus Angel
Holacanthus africanus
Place of origin: 
Eastern Atlantic/Mediterranean
West African coast of the eastern Atlantic, ranging from the equatorial waters off Kongo north to Senegal and the Cape Verde Islands. Inhabits very shallow rocky areas and sandy seabeds to a depth of at least 50m. Adults have a relatively uniform brownish olive colour. the central area of the body somewhat paler, and feature a large ocellate 'ear'-spot. Juveniles display a totally different pattern and up to a length  of about 4cm they have a brilliantly orange-yellow caudal fin, and a shinning blue stripe in the middle of the body as well as two narrow blue bars in front and behind the eye. At a length of about  5cm the juveniles begin to change to the adults colours: a sickle-shaped lighter zone appears behind the pectoral fin, the blue colouration fades, and a yellowish  brown one dominates. At a length of about 10cm the fish have the complete adult colouration. Males grow larger than females, and have a broader pale area centrally on the body. Length to 40cm.
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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