> Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes
fishes are rarely seen naturally on the shore at low tide. They are
more often encountered by divers in deeper waters. Those we've seen
were sadly captured in fish traps or already in a fish tank.
What are angelfishes? They belong
to Family Pomacanthidae which has 9 genera and 74 species. They are
found in the Atlantic, Indian and Pacific oceans. They are closely
related to the butterflyfishes (Family
Chaetodontidae) and were previously placed in the butterflyfish
Features: Their bodies are flattened
sideways with an overall shape that is rather rectangular. In many
anglefish species, the juveniles are often very different from the
adults, with strikingly different colours and patterns. There have
been many theories about the purpose of the dazzling patterns of these
fishes, but none have been proved with certainty. One theory is that
the patterns break up the body outline under the patches of shadows
and sunlight in the colourful reef environment where they are found.
Some large species can produce a loud drumming or thumping sound.
Most adults depend on shelter such as caves, rock- or coral-crevices.
In the wild, they are seldom sighted in the open. They are mostly
bottom feeders, dashing back and forth from feeding to their shelters.
Yellowtail or Vermiculated anglefish
caught in a fish trap.
Kusu Island, Jun 04
The juvenile looks very different.
Tanah Merah, Apr 11
|What do they eat? As a family,
they eat a wide variety of things. These include filamentous algae,
zooplankton as well as sponges, small animals and fish eggs.
Angelfish babies: Most can change
gender (protogynous hermaphrodites) and have a social system of one
male with a harem of females. The male usually has 2-5 females in
his harem and is territorial, claiming about a few square metres to
more than 1,000 square metres as his territory. They usually spawn
at sunset. The male performs a courtship display when a female approaches;
involving fin raising, rapid swimming back and forth, and quivering
his body. The male and female then slowly spiral towards the surface
and suddenly release eggs and sperm simultaneously into the water
before swimming back to the bottom. The male may mate with several
females one after another.
uses: Many members of this family are harvested from the
wild for the live aquarium trade.
Status and threats: Some members
of the Family Pomacanthidae are listed among the threatened animals
of Singapore. Like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they are
affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution. Poaching
by hobbyists and overfishing can also have an impact on local populations.
|Some Angelfishes on Singapore shores
Pomacanthidae recorded for Singapore
from Wee Y.C. and
Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
+Other additions (Singapore BIodiversity Records, etc)
mesoleucus (Yellowtail or Vermiculated angelfish)
Chaetodontoplus septentrionalis (Blue-striped angelfish)
Pomacanthus annularis (Bluering
+Pomacanthus semicirculatus (Semicircle anglefish)
Pomacanthus sexstriatus (Six-barred angelfish)
Pomacanthus striatus=**Pomacanthus maculosus
- Semicircle angelfish (Pomacanthus semicirculatus) off Pulau Hantu, 29 November 2019, Toh Chay Hoon, Singapore Biodiversity Records 2019: 147 ISSN 2345-7597, National University of Singapore.
- Tan Heok Hui & Kelvin K. P. Lim. 16 Jan 2015. Blue-striped angelfish and longfin bannerfish from Singapore. Singapore Biodiversity Records 201: 12-13 ISSN 2345-7597
- Tan Heok Hui. 17 January 2014. Semicircle angelfish from Tuas. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 26 .
- Wee Y.C.
and Peter K. L. Ng. 1994. A First Look at Biodiversity in Singapore.
National Council on the Environment. 163pp.
- Allen, Gerry,
Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers.
Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
- Kuiter, Rudie
H. 2002. Guide
to Sea Fishes of Australia: A Comprehensive Reference for Divers
New Holland Publishers. 434pp.
Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral
Reef Fishes of the World
Periplus Editions. 400pp.
- Lim, S.,
P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life
and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of
Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology,
the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.