Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator)
Found from the Red Sea, Hawaii, East Africa and most parts of the Indo-Pacific water regions (Pacific and Indian Ocean), the Emperor Angelfish (Pomacanthus imperator) is a warm-water, reef-associated ocean fish species and one of more than 50 angelfish species around the world. Also commonly known as Imperial Angel and Imperator Angel, it is one of the most popularreff fish. Pomacanthus imperator has not been assessed for the IUCN (Red List of Threatened Species).
Extremely colorful as juvenile and adults, they sport a dark blue body with amazing semi-circular stripes (blue and white color) when juvenile. As adults they have a different set of color (usually yellow & blue horizontal stripes), with a thick black band and blue outline around their eyes. Adult coloring is usually achieved by an emperor angelfish after about 24 to 30 months, during which they grow to as large as 15.75 inches (40 cm) in length. The spine-covered first gill is one of its distinctive trait from the similar looking butterfly fish.
Being a reef-associated species, juveniles are inclined to stay on hiding below ledges, semi-protected areas, or inside reef holes. Adults are usually found in areas with extensive algae growth on channels or seaward reefs. Adult emperor angelfish like juveniles prefer to take shelter in caves and under ledges. A female adult Emperor Angelfish reproduces by laying hundreds of eggs. It usually finds a mate which is believed it forms a lifelong partnership with. This species is semi-aggressive and highly territorial towards members of same and other angelfish species. Unlike most species of Angelfish which are herbivores (plant-eaters), Emperor angelfish is an omnivore who prefer to eat coral heads, crustaceans (like shrimp and shellfish), and small invertebrates (like worms and sponges). Their beak-like jaws enable them to crush hard-shelled prey.
While not very common here, the Emperor Angelfish can be spotted occasionally around the sloping reefs of Dauin and the drop offs in around Apo Island.