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Queen Angel : A


Queen Angel : A
Holacanthus ciliaris
Place of origin: 
Western Atlantic, from Florida, the Bahamas and the Caribbean south to Brazil, ranging to the subtropical area off Rio de Janeiro. Adults usually offshore, inhabiting rubble areas of shallow to deep reefs, at depths between about 5 to 60m. They occur either singly or in pairs, but observed in the southern Caribbean in small groups in a typical harem-like arrangement in which a male claims a territory in which he has a small number of females. Juveniles are solitary and live in shallow habitats, including mangroves, and often perform as cleaners. A conspicuously coloured species, regarded by many to be one of the most beautiful angelfishes. Adults feature a dark blue spot on forehead, speckled and ringed with brilliant blue, which forms the "crown", which may fade a bit in older Queen angelfish individuals. The paired and caudal fins are always yellow. The splendidly coloured juveniles have a dark band over the head and a few vertical pale-blue lines on the body that are slightly curved. Length to 45cm.
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 butĀ  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 nameĀ  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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