Family pomacanthidae
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Family Pomacanthidae. Fish in Pomacanthidae. Perciform fish (perch-like ) Marine angelfishes. About the name. poma meaning " cover” akantha meaning "thorn". Preopercle spines (red). Information. Small mouths, large pectoral fins, and rounded lunate tail fins

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Family Pomacanthidae

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Family pomacanthidae

Family Pomacanthidae

Fish in pomacanthidae

Fish in Pomacanthidae

  • Perciform fish (perch-like)

  • Marine angelfishes

About the name

About the name

  • poma meaning "cover”

  • akanthameaning "thorn"

Preopercle spines (red)



  • Small mouths, large pectoral fins, and rounded lunate tail fins

  • Size is from 6 inches to 2 feet with the average at 8-11 inches

  • Are protogynous hermaphrodites

Up to 2 feet long

(gray angelfish)

Up to 6 inches (dwarf angelfish)

Queen angelfish holacanthus ciliaris

Queen Angelfish (Holacanthusciliaris)



  • Feeds almost exclusively on sponges supplemented by small amounts of algae, tunicates, hydroids and bryozoans.

  • Juveniles are sometimes cleaner fish.

  • Are shy and like to hide

  • Found in pairs year round, so might have long term monogamous bonds.

  • Reproduce by rising up in the water, bringing their bellies close together, and releasing clouds of sperm and eggs.

Distinguishing features

Distinguishing features

  • A dark blue spot on the forehead, speckled and ringed with brilliant blue, forms the "crown." 

  • The tail is yellow.

Interesting facts

Interesting facts












Family pomacentridae

Family Pomacentridae

Fish in pomacentridae

Fish in Pomacentridae

  • Perciform fish (perch-like)

  • Includes damselfishes and clownfishes

About the name1

About the name

  • Poma (Greek)-means cover. In reference to the fishes’ opercula.

  • Centri-derived from the Greek word kentron, which means sting.

  • This refers to the serrations along the margins of the opercula of the fishes.

Cool stuff

Cool stuff

  • This family is known for being territorial

  • The males engage in mating displays by bursts of motion, hovering, fin extensions and fin beats.

  • If the female is attracted then she will lay her eggs in his nest to be fertilized by the male externally—through the water.

Sergeant major abudefduf saxatilis

Sergeant Major (Abudefdufsaxatilis)


  • Five black body bars.

  • Upper lip does not overhang lower lip.

  • Named Sergeant Major because of the stripes which are reminiscent of the insignia.



  • Feed on the larvae of invertebrates, zooplankton, smaller fish, crustaceans and algae.

  • Eaten by groupers, basses and wrasses.

  • Usually about 6 inches in length

Interesting facts1

Interesting facts:

  • At Fernando de Noronha Archipelago, this species feeds on spinner dolphins’ feces and vomits.

  • Also, juveniles may hold cleaning stations together with the doctorfishand the blue tang and graze algae as well as pick molted skin and parasites from green turtles.

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