Gray angelfish. ''Reef Fish Identification'', New World Publications © 1994
Gray angelfish. Source: © Keri Wilk/Florida Museum of Natural History
Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Gray angelfish adult individuals range from 25 to 60 centimeters in length. Their laterally compressed, round bodies are grey and they have yellow on their pectoral fins. Juveniles are black with three bright yellow bars.
They are found in the Western Atlantic from New England, USA to the vicinity of Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea. In the Eastern Central Pacific they are found in the Hawaiian and Johnston islands.
They live on coral reefs at depths ranging from 12 to 183 meters, but they are more often found between 25 and 50 meters.
Gray angelfish feed mainly on sponges (about 70% of their diet) as well as algae, hydroids, tunicates, zoantharians, gorgonians, bryozoans, seagrasses, and eggs. Angelfish have adaptations to allow them to feed on sponges. Their strong mouths allow them to tear off pieces of sponges and they secrete mucous around their food to protect their stomachs from the sponges spiny spicules. Juvenile gray angelfish may act as cleaners.
Gray angelfish feed on the reef throughout the day. Usually they travel alone or in pairs. Males form territories to defend their mates from other males.
Gray angelfish may reproduce year around. They are thought to form monogamous pairs that may result in forming long-term bonds, but some may be promiscuous as well. Spawning occurs at sunset when a single male and female rise above the reef to release gametes. After the eggs hatch 15 to 20 hours later, the larvae enter the pelagic stage for three to four weeks until they settle in shallow water and transform into juveniles.
Juvenile angelfish may act as cleaners.
Gray angelfish are not deemed to be a taxon at risk.
References and Further Reading
- Encyclopedia of Life. species curator: C.Michael Hogan. 2011. Pomacanthus arcuatus (Linnaeus, 1758)
- Florida Museum of Natural History. Gray Angelfish
- Fishbase. Pomacanthus arcuatus Gray Angelfish
- P.Humann and N.Deloach (Editor) 1994. Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348078
- N.Deloach. 1999. Reef Fish Behavior, Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348280