Sunday, 22 May 2016

KML Week 1: Queen Angelfish

 Personal photo
Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris)

 This beautifully colored fish inhabits coral reefs around Florida, especially the Florida Keys, as well as the Bahamas and may range as far south as Brazil. This fish species gets their name from a spot on their head that resembles a crown and is easy to distinguish among other fish species because of the vibrant blue and yellow colors. The Queen Angelfish can reach a length of about a foot and a half weighing between 3-4 pounds. In the water they seem to be shy most like other fish and will not really allow you to get very close to them; hence the picture I have I was forced to still frame from a video because it was evading my presence.

When these fish are juveniles they primarily serve as "cleaners" feeding off of parasites from bigger fish but when they grow to adult ages they feed primarily on sponges but also eat things like tunicates and even jellyfish. They may also eat plankton and algae.

These fish are under least concern according to their conservation status. Although I did not seem to notice a large abundance of them in the reefs we went to. Adults usually stay in pairs so if you see one you are likely to see another. In my opinion, this is by far the most gorgeous fish to see in the coral reefs that we visited. The colors catch your eye quick and this fish is amazing to watch in the water as it moves around the reef feeding and interacting with the environment.

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