Queen Angelfish

(Holacanthus ciliaris

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

Queen angelfish can be found throughout the Caribbean and western Atlantic Ocean, ranging as far north as Bermuda and as far south as Brazil.

Diet and Behavior

Queen angelfish are omnivores.
Their primary food sources are sponges and algae, but they are opportunistic and will eat sea fans, soft corals and even jellyfish. 
Juveniles serve as cleaners for larger species of fish, picking parasites off the skin of those fish to eat.
This relationship gives young queen angelfish an easy source of food and benefits the larger fish’s health.


Queen angelfish tend to live alone or in pairs.
Because many of the fish do live in pairs, it is thought that they are monogamous and form long-term bonds with their partner.
During reproduction, pairs will bring their bellies close together and release clouds of sperm and eggs.
A female can release as many as 10 million eggs in a single spawning cycle.
Fertilized eggs float in the water for 15 to 20 days, at which point they hatch into larvae with attached yolk sacs for nutrition.
Once they use up the yolk sacs, young queen angelfish feed on plankton.
After another 30 days, the juvenile fish find homes on the bottom of the reef and begin to feed on parasites.

Conservation Status

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