Animal Species:Blackspot Angelfish, Genicanthus melanospilos (Bleeker, 1857)

The Blackspot Angelfish is found in tropical marine waters feeding of plankton that is picked from the currents a few metres of the surface bottom.

Standard Common Name

Blackspot Angelfish


Male Blackspot Angelfish are bluish white with narrow black bars on the body. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins have yellow spots. The caudal fin is lunate.

Female Blackspot Angelfish are yellow on top and blue below. The lunate caudal fin is bluish with a black stripe on the upper and lower edges.

Angelfish are related to the butterflyfishes (Family Chaetodontidae), but have a distinctive preopercular spine, that is lacking in the butterflyfishes.

Size range

The species grows to 18cm in length.


The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific, from Malaysia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to Fiji.

In Australia it is known from 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.

Genicanthus melanospilos

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Blackspot Angelfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


It inhabits offshore reef slopes and rubble areas that are interspersed with sand.

The Blackspot Angelfish is found in depths from 20 m to 45 m.

Feeding and Diet

It feeds on plankton picked from currents, generally a few metres above the bottom.

Other behaviours and adaptations

Males are often seen with a harem of 3 to 4 females.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
  2. Allen, G.R., Steene, R. & M. Allen. 1998. A Guide to Angelfishes & Butterflyfishes. Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research. Pp. 250.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.

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Tags fish, ichthyology, Blackspot Angelfish, Genicanthus melanospilos, blue, white, yellow, black, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult,