Virgin Islands Angelfish and Butterflyfish

Queen Angelfish
Photo by Caroline Rogers


Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris)

Queen angelfish are blue to greenish blue, have a dark blue spot in the middle of the forehead and yellow rims on the scales, ventral and pectoral fins. They can be found swimming in and about sea whips, sea fans and corals.
Juvenile Queen Angelfish
Photo by Caroline Rogers

Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) Juvenile

The juvenile queen angelfish can be found blending in with sea whips and fans on the offshore reefs. They have a dark blue body with brilliant blue to white curved bars and a dark blue bar across the eyes. They prefer offshore deeper reefs.
French Angelfish
Photo by Naomi Blinick

French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru)

French angelfish are black with bright yellow rims on it's scales. The tail is rounded and they have a bright yellow ring around the eyes. It can be found swimming in and about the coral reefs. The juvenile is black with three yellow body bars and a rounded tail with a yellow ring. Juveniles are often seen in reef crevasses and holes.
Gray Angelfish Pair
Photo by Caroline Rogers

Gray Angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus)

Gray angelfish have a gray body, a square-cut tail and a yellow inner face of the pectoral fins. It has a distinct yellow band running from the forehead to the chin and has yellow lips. The juveniles are black with three yellow bars on the body and one near the front of the tail. The adults are usually seen swimming in pairs in reef areas as shown here.
Banded Butterflyfish
Photo by Susanna Pershern


Banded Butterflyfish (Chaetodon striatus)

The banded butterflyfish is silver to white with two wide black bands on its body and another on its head running from eye to eye. They are typically it is seen flitting about in pairs on reef tops.
Foureye Butterflyfish Susann Pershern
Photo by Susanna Pershern

Foureye Butterflyfish (Chaetodon capistratus)

The distinctive black spot with a white ring on the rear of the upper body gives this fish the appearance of having four eyes, hence the name. They are usually found swimming in pairs or groups flitting over reef tops and among corals.

Reef Butterflyfish
Photo by David Bryan

Reef Butterflyfish (Chaetodon sedentarius)

The reef butterflyfish has a yellowish back and dorsal fin with silvery-white lower body and yellowish tail. They are usually seen in pairs along reefs and are wary of divers but can sometimes be approached for a photo if one moves very slowly.
Spotfin Butterflyfish
Photo by David Bryan

Spotfin Butterflyfish (Chaetodon ocellatus)

The spotfin butterflyfish is silvery white in color with a black bar which runs across the eyes. They have yellow fins with a black dot on the outer edge of the rear dorsal fin. The tail on juveniles is almost translucent. They are usually seen in reef areas swimming in pairs.

Last updated: October 28, 2021

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