- Phylum: Chordata
- Subphylum: Vertebrata
- Class: Actinopterygii = Osteichthyes (Ray-Finned or Bony Fishes)
- Order: Perciformes (Perch-Likes)
- Suborder: Percoidei
- Family: Pomacanthidae (Angelfishes)
- Genera Categories:
Identifiable Angelfish Family Trait:
All Family Pomacanthidae members have a sharp spine located at the lower front area of the gill cover, or preopercle region. The presence of this spine on each side distinguishes and separates Angelfishes from their close Butterflyfish relatives, which do not have this spine present.
About Sexing Angelfishes:
How can you tell if an Angelfish is male or female? For an answer to this question we contacted two of Hawaii's top marine biologists and asked them how to, if at all possible, do you determine the sex of, as an example, a Flame Angelfish. Here are their responses.
- Richard L. Pyle, Ph.D., Associate Zoologist/Ichthyologist, Database Coordinator, B.P. Bishop Museum, Honolulu, Hawai'i -- "The males seem to have more blue on the soft dorsal and anal, and seem to have pointed soft dorsal and anal fins instead of rounded. However, I don't think anyone has really carefully examined this to see if the correlation is really sex-related, or just size-related."
- J. Charles Delbeek, Live Exhibits Department, Waikiki Aquarium, Honolulu, Hawai'i -- "I agree with Richard's assessment. Although it is not proven, I have used the differences in fin shape to create pairs that have spawned. Also the easiest way to obtain a pair is to buy two fish of differing sizes. The larger one will be, or will become a male, while the smaller will be female. To be sure, the size difference should be as great as possible."
As these two expert's opinions and experiences reflect in their answers, there is still much research to be done on the sexing of fishes, but size might be a key when it comes to identifying the sex of a Flame, and possibly other Angelfishes.