Angelfish are among some of the most beautiful fish in the ocean. They live on coral reefs, in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans. Each ocean has different types of angelfish. They are closely related to Butterflyfish, and when they are babies, they, like Butterflyfish, are “cleaners” (cleaning debris from other, larger fish). The largest species, the Gray Angelfish, live in the Atlantic Ocean, and are almost always seen in pairs. Gray Angelfish can grow to a length of 24 inches andare protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning that if all of the fish are female, one can turn into a functional male.
When seen on the reef, most Angels tend to be in pairs, and they mate for life. The pairs are very much “together”, always keeping one eye on the other…never venturing far. Their patterns and colors are dramatically different from baby to juvenile to adult. I have seen Angelfish in all 3 oceans, and it is difficult to say which is the more beautiful. They hang out on the reef during the day, and hide at night, and when a turtle is feeding nearby, you can be sure a few angels will be hanging around for the leftovers since they both love to eat sponges!
Grays don’t want to be challenged for leftover sponges! Not a great photo, but look at the determination!