Blue Angelfish

Bermuda blue angelfish

The Bermuda blue angelfish, Holacanthus bermudensis, is a species of marine angelfish of the family Pomacanthidae.

Description

An adult blue angelfish is blue-brown in color with green hues and bright yellow on the tip of its tail and fins. Their young, however, have a completely different coloration. A young blue angelfish is dark blue with a yellow tail and some yellow on its fins. It also has vertical blue bars on its body. As it ages, the bars fade away and the body color becomes lighter and some browns and greens are added.

The blue angelfish can grow up to 18 inches in length. It has a large mouth and comb-like teeth. It is often collected for aquariums. This fish occasionally breeds with the queen angelfish, which is very similar to it. This hybrid is called the townsend angelfish. An adult blue angelfish can produce a loud thumping sound that warns predators and also startles divers.

Habitat

It is found in the western Atlantic part of from Bermuda, the Bahamas and Florida to the Gulf of Mexico, and also to Yucatan, Mexico. The blue angelfish tends to stay near rocks, coral, and sponges at depths of between 6½ and 300 feet (2-92 m). It also lives around boulders, in caves, and crevices in shallow water. Young blue angelfish tend to live in bays and channels.

Diet

The blue angelfish prefers to eat sponges, but also eats algae, coral, and tunicates. Young blue angelfish eat parasites on other fish at "cleaning stations". Also 95% of their diet consists on sponges.

Reproduction

The blue angelfish has no specific breeding period, so they breed year round. When they do breed, the female can release from 25 to 75 thousand eggs each day, totaling up to 10 million eggs each breeding cycle. The eggs are transparent and contain a drop of oil for buoyancy. The eggs hatch shortly after, and the fish that emerge are in a pre-larva state and they do not have guts, eyes, or fins, and are attached to a yolk sac. After two days, the yolk sac is gone and the fish are in a larva state and eat plankton. These fish grow very fast.

Lifespan

The blue angelfish can live up to 20 years.

Status

This species is not endangered, and is common in Florida, whiler rarer further south in the Caribbean.

References

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