Fun Banded Angelfish Facts For Kids

Oluwatosin Michael
Nov 16, 2022 By Oluwatosin Michael
Originally Published on Aug 17, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Fact-checked by Kidadl Team
Banded Angelfish Fact File
Age: 3-18
Read time: 7.7 Min

There are 90 species of angelfish in the world and the banded angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus) is one type of angelfish in this family. They are known by other common names including white and black bandit angelfish, bandit angelfish, and black-banded angelfish. Banded angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus) are found in corals and reef environments in the Hawaiian Islands as well as in the Johnston atoll. Banded angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus) is a Least Concern species as classified by the International Union For Conservation Of Nature IUCN Red List. Their distribution is wide in the region they are native to.

Banded angelfish (Apolemichthys arcuatus) are semi-aggressive beings and they should not be kept with species like the banded rainbowfish which are peaceful beings. They are not ideal to be kept as pets in a home aquarium. However, they can be raised in community tanks. They are difficult to care for and require a lot of commitment. Males and females and are difficult to tell apart. They are omnivores, however, they predominantly feed on sponges. Juveniles develop independently.

For more relatable content, check out monkfish and Midas blenny facts.

Banded Angelfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a banded angelfish?

The banded angelfish is a type of fish that belongs to kingdom Animalia and the order Perciformes.

What class of animal do a banded angelfish belong to?

The banded angelfish is a type of fish that belongs to the class Actinopterygii, family Pomacanthidae, and genus Apolemichthys.

How many banded angelfish are there in the world?

The exact population size of banded angelfish is not evaluated. They are classified as a Least Concern species by the IUCN. The black phantom is one of the rarest angelfish species in the world.  

Where do banded angelfish live?

Banded angelfish live in corals and reef environments. This species is primarily seen around the Hawaiian Islands and the Johnston atoll. They prefer residing near deeper parts of the water body close to coral, caves, and reefs.

What is a banded angelfish's habitat?

The banded angelfish habitat constitutes a tank that is large in size. The minimum tank size is 180-200 gal (681.4-757 l). Bandit angelfish prefer a fast-flowing current. Bandit angelfish don't like nets since they have a rough texture.

Who do banded angelfish live with?

Black and white banded angelfish can reside with other species of their own kind with ample space provided to them. They should not be kept with more aggressive similar fish species since they themselves are semi-aggressive. Peaceful fishes include the five-banded barb with angelfish or copper banded angelfish and black banded angelfish. Black band angelfish live in a similar habitat. Six-banded angelfish is an additional similar fish found in the Pacific region that is also kept as a pet. A type of angelfish that can be kept together with banded angelfish in a tank was earlier described as Holacanthus arcuatus.

How long does a banded angelfish live?

Hawaiian banded angelfish live for around five years. The oldest fish in the world is a Greenland shark and is estimated to have lived for around 500 years.

How do they reproduce?

Banded angelfish reproduce via spawning in similar regions for the most part. The females release their eggs and they pair off and spawn readily. They find a clean flat surface on which they lay their eggs and chase other fish away. Spawning happens with the female laying egg rows on a surface and the male fertilizing them. They may spawn multiple times throughout their life in addition to the first time they spawn. Small fishes develop by themselves.

What is their conservation status?

Banded angelfish are classified as a Least Concern species by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Banded Angelfish Fun Facts

What do banded angelfish look like?

Banded angelfish are an exotic fish species that are black and white overall. The white color areas on their body are somewhat reflective pearlescent in appearance. Their body is broadly white with a broad black bar and a white band that runs across the upper side all the way from the eye to the back of the dorsal fin. Their dorsal fin comprises 17-18 soft rays along with 13 spines. They have two dark-colored eyes, and their body is streamlined which helps facilitate movement. Apart from this, a white-bordered black band color runs along the anal and caudal fins. They use their anal and caudal fins to move through the water. The anal fins have a black white-edged band.

White and black banded angelfish are an exotic species and pearlescent in appearance.

How cute are they?

Banded angelfish are an extremely cute and adorable species of fish. They can be kept with smaller fishes in a tank. They are quite aggressive and prefer residing in large waters tanks. Large waters tank or aquariums give them ample space to move around without becoming troubled.  

How do they communicate?

The way these fish communicate has not been evaluated. However, these semi-aggressive beings are territorial. It is best to keep them in schools, however, they need ample space to swim around. They communicate content via pheromones and their body language. If you have a small tank size, you should only keep a single-banded angelfish.

How big is a banded angelfish?

A banded angelfish measures 8-12 in (20.3-30.5 cm) in length. This is 10 times bigger than the common white cloud mountain minnow which is 1-1.5 in (4 cm).

How fast can a banded angelfish swim?

Banded angelfish swim at moderate speeds in water bodies. The black marlin is a fast fish and is one of the best swimmers in water in the world, reaching speeds of 65.2 mph (105 kph).

How much does a banded angelfish weigh?

A banded angelfish weighs 2 lb (0.9 kg) and their diet is primarily omnivorous. They are found in great depths underwater and stay in depths unless it is time to forage for food in the water.

What are the male and female names of the species?

Male and female species are not addressed differently. They are similar in appearance, meaning they have common features and are hard to tell apart. They do differ in reproductive functions.

What would you call a baby banded angelfish?

Banded angelfish can be addressed by the name fry. The young fry develops by itself in water. When bred in captivity, it is best to remove the young fry away from other fish species in order to keep them safe in the water.

What do they eat?

Bandit angelfish are omnivores and feed on food available to them underwater. They are fed shrimp pellets, and small invertebrates as pets in aquariums. These specimens will adapt to tank-fed foods more readily than young fry. In the wild, they consume foods including algae, coral, and search for other fishes.

Are they dangerous?

Bandit angelfish or baby angelfish are not dangerous or deadly. Bandit angelfish stay within their aquarium or tank when raised in captivity. In the wild, adults and juveniles stay close to reef, caves, and corals. They are predominantly seen swimming around the Hawaiian Islands. They may be semi-aggressive towards marine fish species that are similar or smaller in size.

Would they make a good pet?

No, although these fishes seem small, they are not soft or peaceful beings. They are semi-aggressive and should either be raised alone in a tank or in large tanks. They should ideally be introduced to peaceful fishes first. They are semi-aggressive to other species and it is normal for them to fight. Males tend to fight with other males. They are often seen in large groups or in large numbers when raised in captivity. The black and white banded angelfish price in the USA is $800-$1000. A minimum tank size should store 180-200 gal (681-757 l) of water. The tank store should contain a lid due to the fact that it could pick fights with other species.

Bred fishes need to be taken care of with enough dedication and patience. They can be fed dried shrimp or food containing sponges due to their preference of either. Aquarium owners need to provide specific care as bandit angelfish do not like being handled by a net. You need to keep enough food in-store to feed them often.

Did you know...

Marine fish drink water, unlike freshwater fish who do not drink water. Marine fishes have to drink water since they don't have the ability to absorb water through their skin.

The Great Barrier Reef is located in Queensland, Australia and can be seen from outer space. This reef is the single largest structure created by living organisms.

Jeanne Billepreux-Power, a French-born naturalist, was the first person to ever invent an aquarium. However, the aquarium was a glass aquarium. The term describing an aquarium was developed much later on. The first public aquarium was in London Zoo made in May 1853.

What are the different types of banded angelfishes?

There is a total of 90 species of angelfish. Banded angelfishes or bandit angelfish are one species in this large family. Others include the banded angelfish, black-banded angelfish, Hawaiian banded, and half banded angelfish Altum angelfish, all of which stay near corals or reefs in the wild. Six bar angelfish are often collected for the aquarium trade. Holacanthus arcuatus was first associated with the six-bar angelfish and Holacanthus arcuatus was associated with other angelfish. This fish can seen in an aquarium or a tank as well.

How do angelfish defend themselves?

Angelfish or bandit angelfish are marine species that live in coral and reefs. They are semi-aggressive beings, as per their description. Angelfish are not angels and have secret sharp spines on each gill that they use to defend themselves, although they might appear to have a soft fin. Have you ever come across an angelfish?

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 French angelfish facts pages.

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

Banded Angelfish Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Shrimp pellets

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?

250 eggs

How Much Did They Weigh?

2 lb (0.9 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

rocky and coral reefs

Where Do They Live?

hawaiian islands

How Long Were They?

8-12 in (20.3-30.5 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Apolemichthys arcuatus

What Do They Look Like?

Black and white

Skin Type

Wet, slimy scales

What Are Their Main Threats?

barracudas and sharks

What is their Conservation Status?

Least Concern
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Written by Oluwatosin Michael

Bachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

Oluwatosin Michael picture

Oluwatosin MichaelBachelor of Science specializing in Microbiology

With a Bachelor's in Microbiology from the Federal University of Agriculture, Abeokuta, Ogun State, Oluwatosin has honed his skills as an SEO content writer, editor, and growth manager. He has written articles, conducted extensive research, and optimized content for search engines. His expertise extends to leading link-building efforts and revising onboarding strategies. 

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