The angelfish – Pterophyllum, as scientists normally refer to it – is a type of fish originating primarily from the Amazon and Orinoco basins. It can also be found in various rivers located in the Guiana Shield in tropical South America. The species features triangular dorsal and anal fins that provide them with the perfect cover when hiding among various roots and plants in shallower waters. They are carnivores and are known to be quite proficient predators able to ambush their prey. They feed mainly on macro-invertebrates and small fish.
Angelfish were first discovered in the early 1800s. Their unique, beautiful shapes and stripes inspired their name, becoming a topic of interest among researchers. Angelfish are multicolored, striped fish, featuring body stripes that extend in proportion of about ¾ of the entire body’s length. Most species develop 3-8 body stripes, some of which fade over time, as the fish mature. Their coloration plays an important role when it comes to making camouflage easier, and it helps angelfish attack their prey without being easily detected.
There are quite a few types of angelfish Pterophyllum experts have identified, most of which are found in freshwater and tropical locations abundant in coral reef formations. The silver and gold angelfish are both striped species that are most commonly identified by the distinct shape of the angelfish. Black lace and zebra angelfish varieties are similar to silver angelfish and are considered to be some of the most beautiful varieties that divers seek. There are also many less common types of angelfish, including chocolate, smokey, koi, and sunset blushing angelfish.
If ever there was a romantic fish, the angelfish can best represent the term. Angelfish mate for life, forming long term relationships with a single partner, and even upon the death of the partner, they will not accept to mate or breed with any other angelfish. Angelfish can lay as many as 1,200 eggs, depending on the health and size of the female, and the pair is known to circle the eggs, fanning them with their pectoral fins. The eggs hatch in just a few weeks and the young are ready to swim freely in as little as one week after that. When examining the different types of angelfish, Pterophyllum experts found that they are quite similar, both when it comes to behavior and breeding habits.