Monday, May 9, 2011


Angelfish are colorful residents of coral reefs. They change their colors and patterns as they grow. Somtimes, the differences between the young and adults are so striking that they look like different species.

Along with their close relatives,the butterflyfish, angelfish are among the most visible inhabitants of tropical coral reefs. Most live in shallow water,and so they are easily spotted by swimmers and divers. This does not mean that all the species occur in large numbers,or in shallow water,however.Some species are not seen on most reef dives because they usually live in deep water.For example,the masked angelfish prefers to live in waters from around
60 feet down to 275 feet.Others are not often seen because they are rare and only found in a few places. For example,the resplendent angelfish only lives around Ascension Island in the southeastern Pacific Ocean.

Summer Breeders
It is quite normal for a single male to be accompanied by several females. During the breeding season,which usually extends over the summer months,he will breed with each of the females in turn in spawning sessions lasting eight to ten minutes. First,the male will stage a spectacular display some distance off the bottom,in which he stretches out all his fins. One of the females will respond to this invitation by rising to meet him. As she approaches,the male will nuzzle the female’s belly. Following this,the pair will perform a short,high-speed swim during which sperm and eggs are released. As soon as this happens,the pair dash back to the shelter of the reef. The eggs,which float,are carried away by currents and hatch within  a day or so. The newly hatched angelfish look nothing like their mparents and have spiny scales.


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