Animal Species:Blueface Angelfish, Pomacanthus xanthometopon (Bleeker, 1853)

As its standard name suggests, this beautiful tropical species has a blue face.  It has also been called the Yellowmask Angelfish, which also seems appropriate.

A Blueface Angelfish at Hideaway Island, Vanuatu

David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson

Standard Common Name

Blueface Angelfish

Alternative Name/s

Yellow-faced Angelfish, Yellowmask Angelfish

Identification

The Blueface Angelfish can be recognised by its distinctive colour pattern. It has a blue reticulated pattern over much of the head and a yellow 'mask' over the eyes. The breast, pectoral fin and caudal fin are yellow. There is a large black spot posteriorly on the dorsal fin. The scales are blue with yellow margins.

Size range

It grows to about 38 cm in length.

Distribution

It occurs in Eastern Indian and Western Pacific Oceans.

In Australia it is known from the offshore islands of north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Pomacanthus xanthometopon

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Blueface Angelfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species lives on coral reefs and in tropical inshore waters.
 

Classification

Species:
xanthometopon
Genus:
Pomacanthus
Family:
Pomacanthidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fishes, ichthyology, Blueface Angelfish, Pomacanthus xanthometopon, Pomacanthidae, blue, yellow, 'normal fish', 30 cm - 1 m, black spot, countershaded, coral reef, marine, adult,