Key West Angelfish

Angelfish in the Water

The bounty of life that waits just below the ocean floor is consistently astonishing, offering a countless number of species that dazzle even the most vivid imagination. Breaking the surface of the waves to spend time with these creatures can be a dazzling experience. There is no place in the world that offers diversity in aquatic life like the waters of the Caribbean. Key West snorkeling provides a unique opportunity to explore fish and other types of life of all varieties. From the most colorful fish to the most graceful of swimmers, snorkeling introduces you to some of the most beautiful species in the entire ocean. Among three of the revered fish that introduce themselves in this region are the Queen, French, and Gray Angelfish.

The Gray Angelfish is common to the Caribbean waters as well as those in Belize. It feeds primarily on algae and sponges that grow on the breath-taking coral that stretches along Key West shores. The appearance of these fish actually alters as it matures. It begins life with a nearly black body that slowly changes its hue as the fish grows older. The color lightens, accounting for the name of their most common color. The shifting hue also allows for the subtle appearance of yellow stripes as it approaches a white color in old age.

Often found along shallow coral reef, the French Angelfish is among the largest of this species. They typically travel in pairs, displaying their gold-rimmed scales against the dark background of their bodies. The pectoral fins display the brightest colors, typically showing shades of orange and yellow. Just below the eye is a blue rim. This fish is rare in that it is strictly monogamous as well.

The Queen Angelfish enjoys warmer waters, which is why they make Key West and the Caribbean their home in large numbers. There body has a distinctive glow that is mainly composed of blueish-greens. Their fins and scales, however, display unique shades of yellow and gold. Their distinctive dorsal regions range from vibrant, bright blues to darker shades of blue. You will most likely see the beautiful fish while on a Key West snorkel.