Why are these beautiful fish so difficult to photograph? French Angelfish are among the most beautiful of Atlantic reef fishes. This French Angelfish was swimming near the reef at a depth of 70 feet. Its scales have bright yellow edges, making a vibrant pattern against its dark blue body. Notice its light blue face, gray/white mouth, and all the yellow highlights on its eyes, gill plates, and fins. But French Angelfish are very shy, making them difficult to approach with a camera.
French Angelfish are common, and are found throughout the Caribbean. French Angelfish eat invertebrates, such as tunicates. Like other Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes, French Angelfish have tall, narrow bodies. Because they are so thin, they can turn quickly and can maneuver down into narrow cracks between the corals to hunt their prey. They swim by rowing with their pectoral fins. Their long dorsal, anal, and caudal (tail) fins allow them to turn quickly. This adult French Angelfish was about 14 inches long.
Tessa Dowell took this picture at a reef called Little Caverns near the west coast of Bimini in June, 2002. She used a Nikonos V camera with a 28 mm lens and SB105 strobe. Little Caverns gets its name from the many holes and tunnels in the coral heads, which make excellent places for all kinds of marine creatures to hide.
See another angelfish at Little Caverns Reef, the Queen Angelfish.
Learn more about the Coral Reefs of Bimini on the 2001 ReefNews CD-ROM
Bimini: Jewel of the Gulf Stream