Latin name

Pomacanthus xanthometopon

Other names

Blueface angelfish


The species name for this species, xanthometopon, means 'yellow forehead', referring to the yellow 'mask' on its eyes.

Compressed at the sides. The mouth is just above the tip of the snout. This species can be confused with Holacanthus ciliaris or Holacanthus bermudensis, but these species have a completely blue snout and no tail patch. 

Features of fish fins

Fins are large and rounded. The dorsal fin is located just before the tail and consists of 13-14 spines and 16-18 soft rays. The anal fin has 3 spines and 16-18 soft rays. 

Fish colouring

The fins are yellow, some with a blue edge. The dorsal fin has a characteristic black spot at the base. The scales are pale blue with a yellow border forming a reticulated pattern. The snout is yellow with a dense network of bright blue lines in the lower part and a monotonous yellow mask around the eyes. Juveniles are quite differently coloured: 6 vertical white stripes separated by pale blue lines, and the caudal fin is coloured in 2 shades of blue. Juveniles gradually change colour, reaching a length of 7 to 12 centimetres (2.8 to 4.7 inches).


Pomacanthus xanthometopon is found on coral reefs in the eastern tropical Indo-Pacific. Its range includes the Maldives, Malaysia, Indonesia, Japan, Taiwan, the Philippines, northern Australia and Micronesia. It has occasionally been seen off the coast of Florida.


A marine tropical species. Prefers lagoons, outer reef slopes and channels down to 25 metres (82 feet) and is often found between rocks and near caves. Juveniles often live in caves.


Reaches a maximum length of 38 centimetres.


Usually single or in pairs. Do not migrate.

Food and feeding habits

Feeds on tunicates, sponges, other fouling organisms and algae.


It is an egg-laying species that scatters its eggs across the seabed.


Not of interest for fisheries.

Relationship with a person

Sometimes found in aquarium shops.

Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Squad Perciformes
Family Pomacanthidae
Genus Pomacanthus
Species P. xanthometopon
Conservation status Least Concern
Habitat Pelagic
Life span, years No information
Maximum body weight, kg No information
Maximum length, cm 38
Sailing speed, m/s No information
Threat to people Not edible
Way of eating Planktonophage

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Yellowface angelfish

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