Pomacanthus imperator (Bloch, 1787)
Emperor angelfish
Pomacanthus imperator
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Pomacanthidae (Angelfishes)
Max. size:  40 cm SL (male/unsexed); max. reported age: 14 years
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 100 m, non-migratory
Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa to the Hawaiian, Line and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan and the Ogasawara Islands, south to the Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, and the Austral Islands (Ref. 33390). Not found in Easter Island, Rapa and the Marquesan Islands (Ref. 48391).
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 13-14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-21; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 18-21. Description: Juveniles are bluish black with concentric white circles. Adults blue with close-set horizontal yellow stripes on the sides and the adjoining dorsal and anal fins. Snout white; eye enclosed in a black vertical bar with blue edge; pectoral fin base area also black. Transformation to the adult color pattern occurs over the size range 8 - 12 cm (Ref. 1602). Body depth 1.6-1.8 in SL. Scales longitudinal series about 90 (Ref. 90102).
Biology:  Juveniles are encountered under ledges, or in holes of outer lagoon patch reefs or semi-protected areas of exposed channels and outer reef flats. Subadults move to reef front holes and surge channels. Large adults inhabit ledges and caves in areas of rich coral growth on clear lagoon, channel, or seaward reefs (Ref. 6113). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Feed on sponges and other encrusting organisms (Ref. 6113); also on tunicates. Form pairs. Young and adults may clean much larger fishes such as sunfish (Ref. 48636). Frequently exported through the aquarium trade. Juveniles are distinguished by a white dorsal-fin margin (Ref. 48391).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 08 October 2009 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Agustin, Liza Q. - 03.11.92
Modified by: OrtaƱez, Auda Kareen - 29.01.08
Checked by: Garilao, Cristina V. - 03.02.97

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