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Goldflake Angel


Goldflake Angel
Apolemichthys xanthopunctatus
Place of origin: 
Central Pacific
Pacific regions from the northern Cook Island west Kiribati and Micronesia. Found near coral reefs in lagoons and in gutters on outer reefs at depths between 3 and 50m. Occurs usually solitary, in pairs or occasionally in small groups. This very attractive species has three blotches and a blue mouth region like Apolemichthys trimaculatus. The broad black rims of the fins are reminiscent of A. xanthotis, and are beautifully margined with irridescent blue in A.xanthopunctatus. A black blotch on the forehead is also distinct, as is  the very long blue cheek spine. Length to 25cm.
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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