Gray Angelfish

(Pomacanthus arcuatus

The queen angelfish are easily spotted because of the brilliant blue tones of their flat bodies, adorned with vivid yellow accented scales, yellow tail and the blue crown on their head.



Initial Phase​


Terminal Phase

Habitat and Distribution

The gray angelfish is common among the coral reefs in the western Atlantic Ocean.
They range from New England to Brazil including the West Indies and the Gulf of Mexico.

Diet and Behavior

Primarily feeding on sponges, this omnivore also eats a wide range of algae and invertebrates including tunicates, zoantharians, gorgonians, hydroids, and bryozoans.
The juveniles feed on algae and detritus along with ectoparasites they clean from other fish.


Spawning occurs from April through September. Angelfish have been observed spawning over deep reef areas in the early morning hours.
Pairs of these fish cruise several feet above the reef with a few short chases.
The pair swims slowly, rising in the water column, bringing their vents close together and releasing eggs and sperm into the water.
During each spawning event, 25,000-75,000 eggs are released.
The fish separate and return to the bottom, repeating this activity numerous times.
The pelagic eggs are spherical and transparent with a diameter of 0.9mm. Larval angelfish hatch approximately 15-20 hours after fertilization.
The larvae live in beds of floating plankton until they reach approximately 15mm when they settle onto the coral reef. 

Conservation Status

Currently listed by the IUCN as of least concerned due to large numbers commonly found in their native geographic range.