Emperor Angelfish live in isolation or in pairs in all areas of the reef. They live in permanent lagoons at the reef front, jealously guarding it from intrusion of its own kind.
Juveniles live close to the sea floor inside holes, and serve as the cleaners of other fish.
An adult fish can be as long as 40 cm and its body is flat and tall in structure. The adult is blue with horizontal golden stripes. Its tail fin, dorsal fin and the top of its head are also golden and its head is decorated with a wide black bar with light blue edges. It has a large prominent thorn at the bottom of its first gill cover.
The juvenile has a different color pattern –- a dark body with white arched lines.
Angelfish feed on algae, sponges and invertebrates.
Once the head of the lagoon is eaten, the juvenile changes its color within a short time and becomes the new leader.
Planktonic eggs and larvae float freely and are carried by the flowing water.
Royal Angelfish are part of the Angelfish family and live in isolation. They are found mostly in shallow coral reefs. The adult can be up to 25 cm long. It gets its name from the colored stripes across its body. Its body is flat and tall in structure. It has a large thorn located in the first gill cover. The only difference in appearance between the juvenile and the adult is that the juvenile has a spot in the form of a “false eye” at the back of the dorsal fin. This fish feeds mainly on algae, sponges, shellfish and invertebrates.
The family of Surgeon Fishes
These fish have flat bodies covered with many small scales. Their eyes are relatively high on the head and they have a small mouth. Their small mouths have many incisors.
The characteristic markings of the surgeon fish are one or two bony plates along the sides of the tail base. In some species these plates are razor-sharp, and serve as strong defensive weapons against predators or in wars with other species, hence the name “surgeon” fish.
Active by day, most surgeon fish live in schools and feed on large algae.
During breeding, they school together in large groups and release their eggs and sperm cells into the water. The eggs are planktonic.
Different species of surgeonfish: yellowtail, sailfin, blue tang, two-tone tang and more.
Yellowtail Surgeon fish
Active by day, the Yellowtail is found in schools, and is 22 cm in size as an adult. It has a steep head profile, a short nose and black eyes. It is a purplish blue color, with a yellow tail fin and a yellow pectoral fin tip. Both sides of the tail base have a razor-sharp thorn that is used for defense and can be pulled out and put back into place. The yellowtail feeds on algae which it scrapes with its spoon-shaped teeth.
Sailfin Surgeon Fish
The Sailfin lives in schools and can grow up to 40 cm in size. It is a grayish – brown color with horizontal bright lines across the body. Its dorsal fins and belly are large, and look like a sail, hence the name. This fish has a straight tail with a thorn at the tail base. When in danger, the thorn is removed for defense. The Sailfin feeds mainly on algae that grow on stones and small animals that cling to the seaweed.