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Species: Holacanthus ciliaris, Queen angelfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

nape: blue & black ocellus
C all yellow; pectoral - black base + yellow fin
juv: central blue bar curved

Holacanthus ciliaris (Linnaeus, 1758)

Queen angelfish

Body a deep oval, strongly compressed; snout short, blunt; mouth small, with brush-like teeth; preopercle with large spine at its angle, with vertical margin serrated; bone between preopercle and operculum with 1-4 large spines; bone under eye without large, rear-pointing spines; dorsal fin un-notched, XIV, 19-21; anal rays III, 20-21; dorsal and anal fins end in filaments; tail straight; large, regularly arranged, very rough scales with distinct ridges on the exposed part, scales extend out onto the median fins; 45-50 lateral line scales; without "axillary process" (an enlarged scale) at the base of the pelvic fins; lateral line ends under end of soft dorsal fin.

Blueish, with yellowish edges to scales; head yellowish, blue around mouth and below; a large black blotch circled and spotted with blue on nape; upper edge of opercle blue; pectorals yellow, with blue & black base; tail and pelvics yellow. Juvenile: darker than adult; body with 3 long blue-white bars, middle bar curved; shorter less distinct bars between those; black, blue-edged bar through eye.

Maximum size about 45 cm.

Habitat: coral reefs.

Depth: 1-125 m.

North Carolina to Brazil.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Omnivore
  • Corallivore
  • Ectoparasite cleaner
  • Data
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Ectoparasites
  • Data
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • West Atlantic Endemic
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • GC non-endemic
  • Extends South of GC
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
IUCN Red List
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 45
Depth Range Min
  • 1
Depth Range Max
  • 125