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
Photographer: David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson
Standard Common Name
Yellow-faced Angelfish, Yellowmask Angelfish
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.
It grows to about 38 cm in length.
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.
Distribution by collection data
The species lives on coral reefs and in tropical inshore waters.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- 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.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- 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