Blackspot Angelfish Click to enlarge image
A male Blackspot Angelfish at a depth of 20 m, Great Detached Reef, far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, November 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl.
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    melanospilos
    Genus
    Genicanthus
    Family
    Pomacanthidae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 18cm in length.

Introduction

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.



Identification

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.

Habitat

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.

Distribution

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.



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.

References

  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.