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King angelfish are tropical fish endemic to the Pacific Ocean near the Gulf of California, Peru, and the Galapagos Islands. They are non-migratory marine angelfish living in tropical rocky coral reefs at a depth of 13–98 ft (4–30 m). They have dark blue-gray bodies with blue rimming around the fins, a vertical white bar behind their pectoral fins, and a yellow tail. Juveniles are more multicolored, predominantly yellow, with blue-rimmed fins and an orange mask around their eyes. The adult males and females look the same and are 13.8 in (35 cm) long and around 6-8 in (15-20 cm) tall. Their diet consists of sponges, sessile invertebrates, algae, and plankton. Their spawning season continues from summer to fall, peaking in late summer. King angelfish are monogamous, open sea egg-scatterers and can produce 25,000-75,000 eggs every day during the breeding season.
The king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) is a tropical marine angel fish belonging to the family Pomacanthidae.
The king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) is a fish belonging to the Actinopterygii class of fish.
The exact number of king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) fish in the world is unknown, but they have a large, widely distributed population.
The king angelfish (Hoalcanthus passer) lives in the eastern Pacific Ocean near Peru, the Galapagos, and the Gulf of California.
The king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) lives in the middle and bottom parts of the oceans in a rocky tropical reef; an aquarium or tank is also a suitable environment if maintained well. They live at a depth of 13–98 ft (4–30 m). They live in the crevices of the reefs and rock formations; juveniles are also found in tide pools.
King angelfish (Holacanthus passer) are seen alone, in pairs, and as a part of large schools of fish in rocky and coral reefs. In an aquarium or tank, they are not good community inhabitants. King angelfish are aggressive, dominating, and abusive towards smaller tank mates. The Holacanthus passer angelfish are aggressive tank mates towards other angelfish, lower in the social hierarchy.
The king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) can live for around 15-20 years.
The king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) lays eggs as a means for reproduction. They are open water egg-scatterers. Their spawning season is from summer until fall, peaking in late summer. These fish are monogamous and can produce 25,000-75,000 fertilized eggs daily. During the spawning season, the fish breed every day; the male of the school first create spawning areas in rocky and coral reefs, where the females enter with their mate. The most dominant male angelfish king takes up the center of the spawning area, and his mate joins him there while the other pairs surround them. The males and females release their gametes into the water and the eggs that get fertilized float in the water for around 20 hours before they hatch. The actual spawning takes approximately 30 minutes at length.
As of yet, Holacanthus passer angelfish reproduction has not been established in captivity and has only been observed in their natural habitat.
Due to their large population and wide distribution, they are categorized as of Least Concern in the IUCN Red List. The king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) population does not have any significant threats either.
Adult king angelfish are dark blue-gray in color and covered with hardy, rough scales. A distinct vertical white bar is present behind the pectoral fin on the flanks. Another distinguishing feature is an orange-yellow patch at the corner of the mouth. Their caudal and pectoral fins are yellow-orange, and pelvic fins transparent. The adults have 18-20 rays of their dorsal fin and every one of their pectoral fins, and 17-19 of their anal fin. They are also larger than most angelfish in length. The males and females of this species are visually the same of most accounts; there is a slight difference in size, with the larger fish being male.
The juvenile king angelfish are even more colorful compared to the adult king angelfish. They have a series of multicolored stripes on their sides. The juveniles have yellow, blue, brown, orange, white, and dark brown stripes, starting from the head to the end of their body; their fins are rimmed with iridescent blue and orange.
Their colorful and beautiful visuals make them out to be the 'angels' of any marine corals reef range or reef aquarium which they inhabit.
King angelfish (Holacanthus passer), as the name may suggest, are very majestic looking, though they are not particularly cute. Their dominant behavior, coupled with their hardy physical attributes, make them worthy of being the angelfish 'king'.
King angelfish are fighters who establish a social hierarchy by fighting physically; this species uses their mouths to wrestle and their tails as clubs. They also communicate and establish social order using the pheromones released into the water via urine and bile excretion.
The Holacanthus passer angelfish's natural habitat is in the Pacific Ocean near the Gulf of California, Peru, and Galapagos. Its body can grow up to 13.8 in (35 cm) length and are around 6-8 in (15-20 cm) broad. They are twice the size of freshwater angelfish and are half the size of a lake trout.
King angelfish can make fast manoeuvers underwater using their strong pectoral fins, pelvic fins, and dorsal fin, but the body of this fish species are not meant to be long-distance swimmers. Their exact speed in the ocean is unknown.
A blue king angelfish species weighs 1 lb (0.45 kg), while the juveniles and sub-adult are significantly lighter. King angelfish are half the weight of the smallest rainbow trouts and a quarter of what a porcupine fish weighs.
There are no specific names for the males and females of this aggressive species. They are simply referred to as male king angelfish or female king angelfish. There aren't any visual cues to differentiate between the sexes either. Only an expert would be able to distinguish between the two sexes based on minor behavioral cues.
There is no specific name that is used to refer to a baby king angelfish. The young are simply referred to as juveniles while in the sub-adult stage and are considered adults when they become sexually mature.
A king angelfish is an omnivore, and its regular foods include a variety of plants and animals. The diet usually consists of sponges, planktons, algae, sessile invertebrates, which are commonly found in the reef. This angelfish species scrapes algae off the rocks and consumes it. Juveniles often clean scalloped hammerhead sharks. They are best not kept in reef or corals aquariums are they will eat the sponges there.
They are not particularly dangerous to humans and can't harm us. They usually don't prey or feed on other fish either, but they are still considered a little hazardous for different fish species (cohabitants or tankmates). King angelfish are more dominating and aggressive than other angelfish. They should typically be the last fish to be introduced into a tank and should be kept away from less-active fish species. The dominant and aggressive behavior is in contrast with their namesake, 'angels.'
While these angelfish are popular in aquariums, they are not as popular as pets in home aquariums. This is due to their specific foods and the tanks. They need tanks that can hold more than 250 gal (946 l) and need to be fed at least three times a day. They also don't eat processed fish foods with sponges as ingredients and need live sponges for feeding.
Angelfish live in both freshwater and saltwater. Species like freshwater angelfish are also popular in aquariums and as pets, while king angelfish are marine angelfish.
The king angelfish (Holacanthus passer) has a head shield that resembles a 'crown.' Hence, it carries the royal designation of 'king.' The queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris), from the same genus, also has a 'crown.' The two fish have a similar body structure but differ in size and coloration. The king angel is more petite by around 4 in (10 cm) as the Queen can grow up to 18 in (45 cm).
A king angelfish pair can produce more than 10 million fertilized eggs during one spawning season; they are open sea egg scatterers.
There are eleven fish species under the genus Holacanthus.
The king angelfish is similar to clarion angelfish (Holocanthus clarionensis) in terms of body shape and size but differs in terms of coloration.
Angelfish can live for around 15 years in their natural habitat.
Angelfish are fighters and fight to establish a social hierarchy. They use their mouths to wrestle and their tails as clubs. King angelfish, in particular, have a strong spike on their lower cheek, which they use to defend themselves.
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 redtail catfish facts or saddled bichir facts pages.
You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable king angelfish coloring pages.
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