A King Angelfish swims in the Gulf of California. King Angelfish are found in the Pacific Ocean. They are a common fish found in the rocks near shore in the Gulf of California. Angelfish are built to maneuver. Angelfish swim by rowing with their pectoral fins, much like you would row a rowboat. But their tall bodies are very thin, allowing them to glide through the water and turn quickly. The King Angelfish has eyes near its forehead; this gives it good forward vision.
Sandy Charles saw this King Angelfish in Martini Cove near the town of San Carlos, Mexico. San Carlos is on the eastern shore of the Gulf of California. The Gulf of California is a 100-mile wide, 500-mile long arm of the Pacific Ocean that reaches north between the Baja California peninsula and the Mexican state of Sonora. The Gulf of California is also called the Sea of Cortez. The day Sandy was swimming with the King Angelfish, there was so much plankton in the water that the visibility was only 30 feet. That is, she could only see through the water for 30 feet, much like looking through fog.
This King Angelfish was 10 inches long and 6 inches tall. It has a bright yellow tail, and yellow pectoral fins. Note the thin, bright bar on its side. This King Angelfish also has a thin, bright-blue border. This is a leftover color from the fish's brighter juvenile markings, which are fading as this fish gets older. When it is fully mature, the blue border will be gone.
Some fishes live in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans. King Angelfish are not found in the Atlantic. Compare it to the French Angelfish found in the Atlantic Ocean. Near the bottom of this photograph you can see two black-and-white barred Sergeant Major fish. Sergeant Majors are found in both the Atlantic and Pacific Oceans.
This photograph was taken by photographer Sandy Charles. Sandy is a regular contributor to ReefNews.