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Angelfish Angelfish are a tropical family of marine fish squad Okuneobraznyh. Do not confuse angelfish with sea angels — a special type of sharks they are in a relationship. To…

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Tropical marine fish

Angelfish

Angelfish are a tropical family of marine fish squad Okuneobraznyh. Do not confuse angelfish with sea angels — a special type of sharks they are in a relationship. To systematically fish the closest angels, butterfly fish, with which they have many external similarities. Even before they were United in one family. Currently known 85 species of angelfish.

Green cachama (Holacanthus ciliaris).

Compared with fish-butterflies, fish, angels are larger: the average size of 20-30 cm, but there are species and up to 60 cm in length, the smallest members of the family have a length of 12-15 cm Body of these fish is flattened laterally, a large head and the tail is shortened, making the torso seem rectangular. On the outer side of the Gill covers there is a sharp spike aimed ago. Pectoral fins pointed, the ventral shifted forward and positioned under the pectoral, dorsal and anal fins are wide. The coloration of these fish are very striking, combining a striped or mesh pattern light blue, blue, yellow, orange and black. For angelfish is characterized by great differences in coloration of young and adult fish, they are so large that at first the juveniles and adult fish were described as different species.

A juvenile fish French angel (Pomacanthus paru).

This difference has biological significance, because the fish-angels actively protect territorial tribesmen, learning their color. At the same time, the young fish can swim on land the adults, while remaining “not recognized”.

And this adult French angel fish.

Angelfish thermophilic and can be found only in the tropics. All members of the family live in marine waters at shallow depths (to 50 m). Angelfish occupy habitats in the shallow waters of coral reefs, whose borders are guarded. These fish have a strong daily activity — during the day they search for food, and at night they sleep in secluded crevices of the reef. They keep in pairs or in small groups of 3-5 individuals. In General, the disposition of these fish are peaceful and even a bit shy, when meeting with divers, they do not show curiosity, but not particularly frightened.

Feed angelfish a variety of food from algae to small invertebrates. However, different species of fish-angels specialize in any one particular type of food. For example, members of the genus Centropyge eat filamentous algae, species of the genus Genicanthus feed zooplankton, most of the other species eats sponges, bryozoans, hydroids and other sessile invertebrates. The muscles of fish often accumulate deadly toxins from the tissues eaten by animals, so there are known cases of poisoning meat fish-angels.

Royal angelfish (Pygoplites diacanthus).

Breeding angelfish has its own characteristics. In some species males and females form pairs, the other — a kind of harems consisting of one male and several females. The hormonal status of animals can dramatically change depending on living conditions. Thus, if the harem male dies, then one of the females undergoes a kind of metamorphosis and hormonal… turns into a male! After that fish continue to spawn as if nothing had happened. Angelfish spawn pelagic eggs, which floats freely in the water column. Caviar these fish are often eaten by predators and is one of the common components of the plankton okolorotova. Juveniles of these fish go through a cycle of development that is associated with a succession of color.

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