Vertebrate >> Fish >> Angelfish >> French Angelfish

French Angelfish

(Pomacanthus paru)

Scientific Class

Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacanthidae
Genus: Pomacanthus
Species: Holocanthus paru

Quick Facts

Name: French Angelfish
Size: 41 cm (16 in)
Weight: 1.6 kg (3.50 lbs)
Lifespan: 10 to 15 Years
Diet: Sponges, Tunicates, Plankton, Algae, Gorgonians and Zoanthids.


French Angelfish Facts

These flat, oval shaped fish have large trailing dorsal and anal fins, the dorsal having a bright yellow margin and filament. They are generally dark to black with their body scales edged in bright yellow, and with yellow on their pectoral fins, white around their mouths, and yellow around their eyes. The juveniles are much darker, with bright yellow bands that fade as they age, and rounded fins that square and get pointed as they get older. These angel fish form monogamous breeding pairs and are territorial to their home area.

Habitat – Distribution
The french angelfish is found at depths between 3 and 100 m (10 to 330 ft). French angelfish are found on coral reefs, rocky bottoms, grassy flats, and other places that provide coverage in tropical coastal waters. They have been found in the Atlantic Ocean off the coasts of Florida down to Brazil. They also appear in the Gulf of Mexico, and the Caribbean Sea.

Diet – Behavior
Adult french angelfish primarily feed on sponges as well as tunicates, zoanthids, corals, gorgonians, and algae. The juveniles feed on algae and detritus along with ectoparasites they clean from other fishes. They tend “cleaning stations” where they remove these ectoparasites from a wide range of fish.

Reproduction – Juveniles
French angelfish reach sexual maturity when they are around 3 years of age and about 10 inches long. Spawning occurs from April to September. They reproduce in pairs via external fertilization. French angelfish mate exclusively with their partner. The male and female will travel to the surface where they release both eggs and sperm into the water. The eggs are only 0.04 inches in diameter and hatch 15 to 20 hours after fertilization. The larvae live among plankton until they reach approximately 15mm whereupon they settle onto the coral reef. The post-larvae are dark-colored with pigmented bright yellow vertical bars.

Conservation Status
French angelfish are classed as Least Concern by the International Union for Conservation of Nature. They are used as part of the commercial aquarium trade. They are not typically a food fish, because they are associated with ciguatera poisoning, caused by fish eating other toxic creatures and keeping a reservoir of toxins which may be passed on to human consumers.