The information about saltwater angelfish facts and pictures in this section relates to the marine angelfish species. Saltwater angelfishes belong with the fish family Pomacanthidae.
Angelfish are typical Perciform fishes. Hence, you can distinguish and characterize them by vivid and intense chromatic coloring. They have large pectoral fins and a long flailing dorsal fin.
The majority of marine angelfish species are discus shaped. You find them most often swimming around shallow warm-water coral reefs.
How Big Can Angelfish Grow?
In fact, some angelfish species will grow up to 25 centimetres in length. Even so, fish tank hobbyists often keep the small freshwater angelfish species in home aquariums instead.
Most angelfishes are hardy and bold while living in their natural habitat. But, they can be difficult to feed and breed in captivity.
Many people go on snorkeling tours or try scuba diving around the shallow coral reefs in the Indian or western Pacific Ocean. Here, you would be unlucky not to see these amazing marine creatures.
The angelfish species also inhabit certain areas of the tropical Atlantic. But, you should not confuse saltwater angelfish with a very different freshwater angelfish species.
Saltwater Angelfish Diet and Behavior
Most species of angelfishes are showy, diurnal, reef creatures. They do resemble butterfly fishes in many ways – and they are ‘distantly’ related.
Large specimens seem to be fearless during the day time. They meander around the coral heads searching for food. Furthermore, saltwater angelfish are not particularly shy of scuba divers either.
Angelfish feeding habits vary and they often get defined specifically through genus. But, on the whole most of them are happy feeding on filamentous algae or zooplankton.
There are some species which prefer a diet of benthic invertebrates, such as tunicates, sponges, and hydroids.
Angelfish Facts: All marine angelfish species are protogynous hermaphrodites. That means a female becomes a functional male any time the dominant male is removed or goes absent from the harem.
Being pelagic spawners, female marine angelfishes release huge numbers of tiny eggs.
The larvae float and drift in the water column combining with plankton. As you may expect, a high number of eggs fall prey to planktonic feeders. The larvae that survive floats freely with ocean currents until they hatch.
Interesting Facts about Angelfish
- Marine biologists believe there are around 100 different marine species of angelfish.
- The Gray Angelfish is the biggest of the species growing up to sixty (60) centimeters long.
- Most angelfishes have large colourful pectoral fins and lunate shaped anal fins.
- Different types of saltwater angelfish species get classified different to freshwater angelfish species.
- Humans do eat certain types of marine angelfish. But, beware because some of the angelfish species are poisonous.
Pictures of Angelfish: | Blue Ringed Angelfishes | Emperor Angelfish and the Six Banded Angelfish.
Note: The marine fish species section has more information. Check out other marine life found in the shallow waters around the coral islands.