Until 1979, the butterflyfishes from the Chaetodontidae family and the angelfishes from the family of Pomacanthidae were classified as one and the same family.  They have since been distinguished as related, but not assigned to one and the same family. They do share though their fascinating colouration, small scales and brush-like teeth. The Pomacanthidae are very charismatic in terms of their splendid chromatic spectrum.


They are aquatic transgenders, turning into male after a female existence. Their small to medium-sized bodies are fairly compressed, always ending with a small mouth.


Angelfish are active during the day, just loving an environment with lots of rocky fissures, crevices, holes and reefs, rich in corals. They have strong territorial preferences, their territories ranging from just a few square meters to aquatic fields of dreams of 1000 square meters. This is where the male maintains a strictly haremic social system, nursing 2 to 8 females. By the way, when angelfish feel threatened they are capable of producing low-frequency ‘knocking’ sounds.


Family Members


Arabian Angelfish/Yellow-bar Angelfish


Size up to 50 cm (1,64ft).  Depth up to 50m (164ft)


The Arabian angelfish variety prefers reef slopes and sandy bottoms, where it feeds on sponges, sea squirts and algae. The adult yellow-bar angelfish, or Arabian angelfish if you like, has a deep, orchid blue body, dotted with a fascinating large yellow irregular blotch  on either side of the oval and compressed body. The juvenile version of this species has light vertical stripes on the sides. It lives as a single and is diurnal.


Emperor Angelfish


Size up to 40 cm (1,31ft).  Depth up to 70m (230ft)


One the prides of the Red Sea is the emperor angelfish, showing off  its brilliant appearance of deep blue with horizontal yellow streaks  near caves and ledges in regions where coral is present in sheer abundance. You will find them flirting and parading solitary or as a pair. The emperor angelfish has a compressed body and a small mouth. The flattened shape of the square and compressed body of an angelfish secures a subtle manoeuvring in coral formations in search for food. Diurnal emperor angelfishes have a healthy appetite for sponges and other invertebrates.


Royal Angelfish


Size up to 25 cm (0,82ft).  Depth up to 48m (157ft)


The royalty species from the angelfish family is another stunningly beautiful species. It isn’t called royal for nothing... Its body is orange and electric blue, bordered by and embedded in black vertical bands. Circulating in pairs or smaller congregations, it frequents zones with lagoons and lives on outer reef slopes to depths not exceeding 48 meters. It can also be seen in the vicinity of caves and in regions littered with corals, tasting sponges, algae and sea squirts.


Zebra Angelfish/Masked Angelfish


Size up to 20 cm (0,65ft).  Depth up to 70m (230ft)

The zebra angelfish is also known as the lyretail angelfish, the swallow-tail angelfish and masked angelfish. The male type has narrow black bars like, well, a zebra, but the female pendant has a pale cream tinge with a black bar above the eye. It inhabits coral-ridden outward reef slopes and drop-offs. It finds zooplankton on the palatable side and likes to socialize in small groups.


Other Family Members

Brown Dwarf-Angelfish

Arabian Smoke-Angelfish

Crescent Angelfish

Regal Angelfish