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Blue Angelfish
Blue angelfish, Holacanthus bermudensis, otherwise known as the Bermuda blue angelfishes, and blue angels are blue-brown / green-colored large angelfish that have yellow tips/margins on their blue caudal fins, with fins that reach up to 45 cm long. They have large mouths and comb-like teeth arranged in brush-like bands. They, unlike the queen angelfish, lack the electric blue ring on their foreheads, as well as have tails that are blue with a yellow tip rather than completely yellow. It is normal, however, to see hybrids of these two angelfishes in the wild, with the appearance of these hybrids varying. They have compressed and discus-shaped bodies with blunt rounded heads. They have one long continuous dorsal fin. Like the queen angelfish, blue angelfish are almost always found in breeding pairs. Juvenile blue angelfishes, however, are dark blue with yellow tails, with yellow surrounding their pectoral fins and blue vertical bars on their bodies. The bars fade with time and are replaced by light brown and green coloring. The juveniles of blue angelfish queen angelfish are very similar, with a major difference being that the juvenile blues tend to have straighter vertical blue bars. Blue angelfish are common in the Caribbean and western tropical Atlantic, with ranges of 35 N - 18 N, and 100 W - 64W. They are found near Bermuda, the Bahamas, southern Florida, and Mexico. They live near the bottom often in coral reefs found at depths between 2 - 92 meters, but usually between 5 -25 meters. Juveniles are often near bays, channels, and inshore reefs. Similar to other reef fish, they sleep inside the reef at night. They feed primarily 95% on sponges as well as small benthic invertebrates, algae, plankton, and jellyfish. Juveniles also are cleaner fish, i.e. clear other fish of external parasites. They spawn by bringing their bellies close together and releasing large amounts of eggs (with females releasing up to 10 million eggs each spawning cycle) and sperm at the same time. Their eggs hatch within 15 - 20 hours and "pre-larval" angelfish emerge attached to a large yolk sac with no functional fins or eyes. 48 hours later, the yolk is absorbed and it develops into a true larvae. It then feeds on plankton, and grow rapidly reaching about 15-20 mm in about 3-4 weeks. Blue angelfish have a lifespan of 20 years. These fish are common in the aforementioned regions, and pose no threat to humans. While their beauty is not as infamous as the queen angelfish, the blue angelfish are also a sight to behold.
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