Gray Angelfish, French Angelfish, and Queen Angelfish
Key West snorkeling is one of the easiest ways to see the Gray Angelfish (Pomacanthus arcuatus), French Angelfish (Pomacanthus paru), and Queen Angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) in one trip. Tens of thousands of tourists come to Key West every year to get a glimpse of these beautiful fish, considered by many to be among the most gorgeous fish swimming in the Keys.
The gray angelfish can usually be spotted swimming in pairs near coral reefs with heavy cover, as the species likes to hide from predators during the night. The fish is distinguished by its thin, discus-shaped body, and miniscule mouth. Adult gray angelfish have a gray or brown-gray coloration. The fish’s body is covered in brown spots, and has a white-tipped mouth. The adult gray angelfish differs greatly from the juvenile, which are black in color and have vertical yellow stripes.
If you are looking for the queen angelfish on a dive, you will likely find it swimming alone or in pairs along the bottom of a coral reef. The fish has a sort of flattened appearance and has a super-long dorsal fin. The fish is distinguished, though, by its brilliant blue coloration. The fish has a splotch of yellow at its cheeks, as well as a tail that is all yellow. The fish can reach lengths of up to 18”, but only reaches a weight of 58 ounces. The fish is an incredibly popular addition to any saltwater aquarium, thanks to its awe-inducing coloration.
The French Angelfish, like the gray angelfish, favors habitats with heavy coral reef cover. Although the fish is very territorial, it is also curious of divers. If you are extremely lucky, one might approach you on your next Key West dive. The fish has black scales, which are outlined in yellow. The French angelfish’s head is gray in color, and it has blue and yellow-colored eyes.