As a diver explores a coral reef, she comes across a beautiful bright yellow fish with a patch of dark blue by its tail. As she watches on, she sees the fish eating a bit of sea sponge. With some research, the diver finds out that this fish is the one and only rock beauty angelfish, a fascinating fish that deserves a closer look.
The adult rock beauty can be identified by its bright yellow body and a patch of dark blue or black toward the tail. The tail itself is a bright yellow-orange. It also has electric blue around the eyes and a multi-colored beak. A full grown adult rock beauty is between 20 to 30 centimeters. The male is slightly bigger than the female, but there is no color differential.
The rock beauty is closely related to the spadefish, another type of reef dwelling fish. The rock beauty belongs to the kingdom Animalia because it is an animal. It is in the phylum Chordata for its pharyngeal slits and post-anal tail, which is common in most angelfish. Because their anal fin possesses a lepidotrichia or a "fin ray," their fins are webs of skin supported by bone, so they belong to the class Actinopterygii. Perciformes means "perch-like", and because of this fish's vertebrae, it is in the order Perciformes. It belongs to the family Pomacanthidae because those in that family are angelfish. The genus Holacanthus is home to the bright colored clarion angelfish, a very close relative to the rock beauty. And last but not least, the species is Tricolor because of its multi-colored body. The family Pomacanthidae or angelfish has about 74 subspecies including, but not limited to;…show more content… These adaptations allow them to be able to utilize sponges as their main food source, which gives them a resource that is not used by very many other reef