03 Jan 2019

A relatively small fish on the Great Barrier Reef, the regal angelfish grows up to 20-30cm long. It’s hard to miss, mostly as it embodies 1980s fashion. It has bright yellow stripes over a white base for the body and bright pink, blue and yellow stripes on its fins. Mix in the bold yellow tail and the regal angelfish is bringing an 80s disco to the reef!

Contrary to their appearance, these fish are the introverts of the Great Barrier Reef. Hanging out in lagoons and the outer reefs, they prefer to keep a low profile along the reef crevice. Somewhat like the royals trying to duck into Tesco for supplies, you can’t miss these fish no matter how hard they try to hide. They are the only member of the genus Pygoplites; part of Pomacanthidae, the angelfish family, they spend most of their life solo or in pairs. Occasionally they can be seen in small groups, usually one male with one or two females. The saying ‘three’ a crowd’ is taken very seriously here!

There are many resident regal angelfish at Hardy Reef and you will often see them munching on sponges and invertebrates. They tend to tear their food rather than take a clean bite (it’s unlikely they’d impress the Queen with their eating habits!). Bright colours and patterns are another story though; we’re sure Queenie would love a coat as bright as these fish!