angelfish

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Angelfish

The word angelfish is a general term that refers to many different kinds of fish . Typically, angelfish have thin bodies that are flattened laterally. They tend to have elongated dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins, and display a wide variety of colors, making them popular aquarium species . The association of these fish with angels may be due to the fins resembling wings.

All angelfish belong to the taxonomic order Perciformes. This varied group contains two families of angelfish. The so-called true angelfish belong to the family Pomacanthidae. Butterfly fish , another group of angelfish species, belong to the family Chaetodontidae. True angelfish are distinct from butterfly fish by the presence of a spine near the bottom margin of the operculum, the outer gill covering. There are eight scientific genera of angelfish found worldwide.

All species of angelfish are tropical, but surprisingly, some species inhabit freshwater while others prefer salt water . Angelfish are typically small, reaching only a few centimeters in length. However, some species are much larger, growing up to 2 ft (61 cm) in length. Most angelfish feed on small aquatic invertebrates . Several species are bred and cultivated as aquarium pets, others are taken from coral reefs and sold to enthusiasts.

Angelfish varieties have colorful names that reflect their appearance. Examples include Flame, Coral Beauty, Lemon Peel, and Dwarf Angel. Members of the shark genus Squatina are called angelfish because their pectoral fins resemble wings. These animals are not closely related to the angelfish kept as pets in aquariums.

Terry Watkins

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Angelfish

The word angelfish is a general term that refers to many different kinds of fish. Typically, angelfish have thin bodies that are flattened laterally. They tend to have elongated dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins, and display a wide variety of colors, making them popular aquarium species. The association of these fish with angels may be due to the fins resembling wings.

All angelfish belong to the taxonomic order Perciformes. This varied group contains two families of angelfish. The so-called true angelfish belong to the family Pomacanthidae. Butterfly fish, another group of angelfish species, belong to the family Chaetodontidae. True angelfish are distinct from butterfly fish by the presence of a spine near the bottom margin of the operculum, the outer gill covering. There are eight genera of angelfish found worldwide.

All species of angelfish are tropical, but surprisingly, some species inhabit freshwater while others prefer saltwater. Angelfish are typically small, reaching only a few centimeters in length. However, some species are much larger, growing up to 2 ft (61 cm) in length. Most angelfish feed on small aquatic invertebrates. Several species are bred and cultivated as aquarium pets, others are taken from coral reefs and sold to enthusiasts.

Angelfish varieties have colorful names that reflect their appearance. Examples include flame, coral beauty, lemon peel, and dwarf angel. Members of the shark genus Squatina are called angelfish because their pectoral fins resemble wings. These animals are not closely related to the angelfish kept as pets in aquariums.

Terry Watkins

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angelfish, common name for certain members of the Pomacanthidae, a family of brightly colored reef-dwelling tropical fishes with compressed bodies and small mouths and teeth. They were formerly classified in the same family as the similar but smaller butterfly fishes; the angelfishes have spines on their gill covers and long filaments on their dorsal fins. Angelfish are carnivorous, feeding on crabs, barnacles, and other invertebrates. The queen angelfish, a good food fish that reaches 2 ft (60 cm) in length, is colored in blues and yellows. The French angelfish is black with yellow scale edgings; the keyhole, or black, angelfish is nearly solid black with a striking central white blotch; and the bizarre rock beauty has a black body with yellow head, fins, and tail. The Atlantic spadefish is also called angelfish or white angelfish, but it belongs to the family Ephippidae, and is more closely related to the tangs. Freshwater species known as angelfish are cichlids. The true marine angelfishes are classified in the phylum Chordata, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Pomacanthidae.

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an·gel·fish / ˈānjəlˌfish/ • n. (pl. same or -fishes) any of a number of laterally compressed deep-bodied fish with extended dorsal and anal fins, in particular: ∎  the freshwater cichlid Pterophyllum scalare, native to the Amazon basin. ∎  the grey angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus, family Pomacanthidae), a coastal marine fish.

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angelfish See CHAETODONTIDAE; CICHLIDAE.

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angelfish Tropical fish found in the Atlantic and Indo-Pacific oceans, popular as an aquarium fish because of its graceful, trailing fins and beautiful markings. Length: 2–10cm (1–4in). Family Cichlidae.