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French Angelfish

on October 14, 2010
Aquarium Guide - Mini

A young French angelfish has a unique “job” to perform in the ocean.


French Angelfish

A young French angelfish has a unique “job” to perform in the ocean. It eats parasites that are using a number of other fish as hosts. For this reason the French angelfish is not attacked or harmed while performing this service. This symbiotic relationship gives evidence of the provision given to these sea creatures by their Creator.


  • A young French angelfish is dark brown to black with yellow bands that curve across the head and body.
  • The adult is black with yellow on the pectoral fin and around the eyes. Its face is light blue with white around the chin and mouth.
  • The French angelfish is distinguished from the butterflyfish by the spine on its gill cover.

Fun Facts

  • The French angelfish changes color as it ages. When it is young, it is black with five vertical yellow bars; but as it ages, it loses the bars. Its black scales develop yellow edges.
  • Each male defends a territory containing 2–5 females. He performs courtship displays and nuzzles the female at times.

CLASS: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
ORDER: Perciformes (perch-like fishes)
FAMILY: Pomacanthidae (angelfishes)
GENUS/SPECIES: Pomacanthus paru

Size: Average 10–14 in (25–36 cm)
Depth: 10–330 ft (3–100 m)
Diet: Sponges, algae, brine shrimp, and squid
Habitat: Coral reefs in the Atlantic Ocean

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