French Angelfish [Habitat, Appearance, and Interesting Facts]

French angelfish

French Angelfish, with the scientific name Pomacanthus paru, is a type of marine fish with ray-like fins.

It belongs to the family Pomacanthidae and is found in the Western Atlantic Ocean.

This fish is common in shallow reefs and is usually found in pairs, often near sea fans.

It feeds on sponges, algae, bryozoans, zoantharians, gorgonians, and tunicates.

The French angelfish lays eggs (oviparous) and forms monogamous pairs for breeding.

When spawning, the pairs are territorial and defend their areas against other pairs.

Young French angelfish often set up cleaning stations, where they clean various types of fish, including jacks, snappers, morays, grunts, surgeonfishes, and wrasses.

At these stations, they use a fluttering swimming motion and touch the other fish with their pelvic fins while cleaning them.

The flesh of French angelfish is considered good quality and is sold fresh in markets.

This fish has also been successfully raised in captivity.

However, it’s not considered reef safe, meaning it can potentially harm coral reefs in a reef tank.

French Angelfish Interesting Facts

  • French angelfish are a type of marine fish found in the Western Atlantic Ocean.
  • They commonly live in pairs around shallow reefs and sea fans.
  • Their diet consists of sponges, algae, bryozoans, zoantharians, gorgonians, and tunicates.
  • Young French angelfish can often be found at cleaning stations where they clean other fish species by touching them with their pelvic fins.

French Angelfish Habitat

French angelfish is found in the Western Atlantic region. Its distribution includes Florida, USA, and the Bahamas, all the way to Brazil, as well as in the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

It can also be found in the Eastern Atlantic near Ascension Island and St. Paul’s Rocks.

This fish lives in ocean waters near coral reefs and does not migrate.

It can be found at depths ranging from 3 to 100 meters (about 10 to 328 feet) and is a subtropical fish, living in areas with latitudes between 33°N and 30°S and longitudes between 99°W and 14°W.

Water Temperature:Unknown
Water pH:Unknown
Water Hardness:Unknown

French Angelfish Physical Characteristics

Size: Common Length: 11 inches (28.0 centimeters), Max Length: 16.2 inches (41.1 centimeters)

French Angelfish can grow up to 41.1 cm (about 16.2 inches) in length, though the common length for this fish is usually around 28.0 cm (about 11 inches).

This fish has 10 dorsal spines (spines on its back), 29 to 31 dorsal soft rays (soft, flexible fin supports), 3 anal spines (spines near its rear end), and 22 to 24 anal soft rays.

The French angelfish is black in color, and most of its body scales, except those at the front from the nape to the abdomen, have a golden yellow rim.

There is no broad orange-yellow bar at the pectoral area.

The dorsal filament is yellow, the chin is whitish, the outer part of the iris is yellow, and the eye is narrowly rimmed below with blue.

French Angelfish Reproduction

French angelfish is known to form long-lasting pairs and practice monogamy.

During research observations, a pair of these fish were seen swimming slowly side by side, about 25 to 75 cm (10 to 30 inches) above the reef.

There were no noticeable courtship displays or signs showing which fish was male or female.

Just after sunset, the pair swam upward in a wide, shallow arc, covering a distance of 7 to 10 meters (23 to 33 feet) and reaching a height of 2 to 3 meters (6.5 to 10 feet) above the bottom.

As they swam upward, each fish angled its body slightly so that their bellies were close to each other, possibly touching.

They maintained this position at the highest point of the arc and then moved apart as they descended.

Other pairs of French angelfish on the reef were observed making similar movements around the same time.

It was difficult to see if any eggs or sperm were released during these events.

There was no interference between pairs while spawning. Monogamous mating in this species is seen as both obligate and social behavior.

French Angelfish Scientific Classification

Scientific Name:Pomacanthus paru
Conservation Status:Least Concern

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