Fun Cortez Angelfish Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Nov 16, 2022 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 18, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Cortez angelfish facts are interesting to learn.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 5.9 Min

Are you looking to create a mini reef aquarium to brighten up your home? Well, a pair of Cortez angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) of Pomacanthus genus can be the most unique addition to your marine pet collection.

A territorial marine fish species, Cortez angelfishes are highly popular in the aquarium trade. On one hand, this fish can definitely add a touch of exclusivity to your beautiful aquarium but on the other hand, the negative effects of overexploitation need to be managed with the help of proper preservation and conservation measures.

Found in the Pacific Ocean, this saltwater fish can thrive well in tropical climates. Like most coral reef fishes, they are great at the art of camouflaging as the bright coloration of their body helps them to hide among the colorful corals.

The juveniles portray a distinct behavior and differ in appearance. They can be found in tidal pools while an adult prefers to stay close to corals and rocky surfaces.

For more relatable content, check out these stingray facts and ray facts for kids.

Cortez Angelfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a Cortez angelfish?

A Cortez angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) of the Pomacanthidae family is a glamorous marine cichlid.

What class of animal does a Cortez angelfish belong to?

Cortez angelfishes have been categorized under the class Actinopterygii, genus Pomacanthus.

How many Cortez angelfish are there in the world?

Cortez angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) are quite plentiful within their habitat range. Additionally, the population trend of this species shows a stable growth with no major threats apart from excessive fishing and harvesting.

Where does a Cortez angelfish live?

The eastern Pacific Ocean teems with a large population of Cortez angelfish. The fish can be spotted in the northern Gulf of California, Mexico, and stretching down to Peru. Several islands like the Galapagos, Malpelo, and Cocos Islands record nomadic populations of this fish.

What is a Cortez angelfish's habitat?

The habitat of this deep-sea dwelling species comprises rocky reefs and adjoining sandy surfaces. The juveniles can be found around tidal rock pools. Also, seeing a Cortez angelfish in a reef tank is pretty common.

Who does Cortez angelfish live with?

Juveniles normally dwell solitarily while the adults live in loose aggregations or form pairs. They can also adjust well with other aquarium mates.

How long does a Cortez angelfish live?

In captivity, an angelfish can survive for a maximum of 10 years if it is offered proper care and a nutritious diet.

How do they reproduce?

The breeding period of the Cortez angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) starts from midsummer and continues until early fall. They can be territorial and aggressive during the reproduction cycle.

They engage in spawning. Females release the eggs while the males eject sperm to fertilize the eggs. Juveniles are found in large numbers from August to November as this is when the majority of the eggs hatch.

What is their conservation status?

According to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List, the Cortez angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) is abundant and there is no urgency regarding its conservation. The species has been classified under the Least Concern group.

Cortez Angelfish Fun Facts

What do Cortez angelfish look like?

Cortez angelfishes draw resemblance to the French angelfish in appearance. The coloration of a Cortez angelfish juvenile and adult varies. This ray-finned fish possesses a compressed body and blunt snout.

A juvenile comes in the shade of black with semicircular yellow and blue stripes. The coloration changes to dark blue in adults with green-blue dorsal fins. A prominent yellow arc is visible at the backside of the pectoral fins.

Cortez angelfish facts are all about one of the most graceful aquarium fish species.

How cute are they?

In marine biology, this species is believed to be one of the prettiest fishes that adds charm and glitz to any aquarium. The vibrant yellow and blue coloration of its body is extremely catchy and can instantly grab the attention of onlookers.

How do they communicate?

Communication is established by releasing bile and urine into seawater that carries chemical signals to the other members.

How big is a Cortez angelfish?

The average length of a Cortez angelfish (Pomacanthus zonipectus) is approximately 10.2 in (26 cm). However, it can measure up to 18.9 in (48 cm) in length. This species is larger in length when contrasted with the Altum angelfish, measuring about 7 in (18 cm).

How fast can a Cortez angelfish swim?

The speed range of Cortez angelfishes lacks proper description and needs to be further studied for an accurate speed. However, the lower depth limit that this angelfish has been spotted swimming at is 164 ft (50 m).

How much does a Cortez angelfish weigh?

The maximum weight of Cortez angelfishes can go up to 2 lb (0.9 kg). The weight of the fish depends on the size of its body.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Both sexes of this species are regarded by their common names, a male and female adult Cortez angelfish.

What would you call a baby Cortez angelfish?

A baby Cortez angelfish is referred to as a fry but after it grows its scales and fins, it is called a fingerling. Another name for baby Cortez angelfishes is juveniles.

What do they eat?

Angelfishes are omnivorous and they largely feed on sponges and colonial tunicates. Their diet also comprises algae and small crustaceans like shrimps.

Are they rare?

Mostly occurring in pairs, Cortez angelfishes have a large-scale distribution within their geographical boundaries, unlike rare black phantom angelfish.

Would they make a good pet?

Angelfishes can be the perfect pets for marine life admirers. However, before grabbing an aquarium be sure to be aware of certain important facts.

Angelfishes are reef compatible but with caution. The temperature range must be from 72-78 F (22-25.5 C) and a pH of 8.1-8.4 has to be maintained in the aquarium.

An aquarium with the preferable size of 100 gal (454 l) can offer room to about four pairs of angelfish. Beginners tend to go for a smaller size of about 20-25 gal (91-114 l) but it must be remembered that these marine fishes need adequate space to move about freely.

Corals and crustaceans can be added to beautify the aquarium. Also, you must make sure that the aquarium mates are not aggressive towards each other.

Did you know...

This saltwater marine species is diurnal.

A recent survey of the coral reefs of Gorgona Island, Columbia has revealed that the existence of this species is greater near the coralline bottoms. The density is thinner in the sandy substratum while they can be rarely traced to tidal pools.

Why are they called Cortez angelfish?

The species is endemic to the tropical waters of Mexico. The name Cortez angelfish has been given to this species because of the place of its existence, the sea of Cortez.

A generous distribution of this species can be witnessed in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It's one of the very few marine fishes caught from Mexican waterbodies for the aquarium trade.

How do angelfish eat sponges?

Apart from angelfish, some species of wrasses, boxfishes, pufferfishes, and leatherjackets are known to have a diet consisting of sponges with the lowest amounts of spicules. Sponges form 70-90 percent of their regular diet.

So, why do angelfishes consume sponges after all? Some believe that high levels of competition have led angelfishes to opt for something that is not consumed by many.

Nevertheless, they also feed on shrimps and algae. Angelfish can eat sponges due to their strong jaws and teeth that they can use to break through the tough sponge material.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish from our giant grouper facts and Nassau grouper facts pages.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable emperor angelfish coloring pages.

Cortez Angelfish Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Tunicates, crustaceans, and algae

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

300-500 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

Up to 2 lb (0.9 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

rocky reef

Where Do They Live?

pacific ocean

How Long Were They?

Approximately 10.2 in (26 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Pomacanthus zonipectus

What Do They Look Like?

Black or blue with yellow stripes

Skin Type

Wet, slimy scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

human activities

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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