What are the angelfish predators?

In this post, we will answer the question “What are the angelfish predators?”. We will also discuss some of the predators’ main characteristics and angelfish techniques to protect themselves from predators.

What are the angelfish predators?

Angelfish are preyed upon by a variety of bigger fish species, birds, marine mammals, aquatic reptiles, and amphibians, among others. Angelfish are found in both freshwater and saltwater environments and consume a variety of foods. They consider the tropical rivers of South America, notably the Amazon River, to be their natural habitat. They may also be found on coral reefs in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans, among other places. They are up against a slew of predators who rely on angelfish as a key source of nutrition.

What animals eat angelfish?

Freshwater angelfish are less vulnerable to predation than their saltwater counterparts. Since the rivers in tropical South America are much smaller, and murky waters occasionally provide angelfish with cover, this is the case. Even still, there are several predators who regularly hunt down and eat angels, including the following:

·      Pirarucu (Arapaima gigas)

·      Peacock bass (Brazilian peacock bass)

·      Piraiba/Catfish (Brachyplatystoma capapretum)

·      Black caimans (Melanosuchus niger). Despite their diminutive size, these cousins of the alligator can effortlessly eat enormous angelfish to complement their diet.

·      A few opportunistic birds may also snag a wayward angel if it wanders too close to the surface of the water. However, they do not qualify as primary predators because they are hunting merely by coincidence and not as part of a deliberate strategy.


It may grow up to 15 feet in length, and it is a carnivorous fish that eats other fish. As a result, it is one of the biggest freshwater fish species on the planet. Despite its enormous size, it mostly preys on smaller fish by producing a vacuum in its mouth when it opens it. This causes fish to be drawn right into their jaws, where they are unable to escape.

Peacock Bass

Peacock bass is found in the Amazon and Orinoco rivers of South America, where they graze on a variety of tiny fish. In reality, they’re a relative of the angelfish in terms of appearance. Both are cichlids, but this species is considered to be one of the biggest cichlids on the planet. 

It grows to be around 3 feet in length on average, whereas freshwater angelfish grow to be about 6 inches in length. Because of the enormous disparity, angels have little chance against these strong predators.


The goliath catfish, for instance, is a gigantic predator that may grow to be more than 12 feet in length. It is an opportunistic eater, which means that it will consume nearly everything that can fit in its mouth at any given time or place. Angelfish that reside and spawn in their region will become one of their most common prey, as would other fish. 

Because of its enormous size, the goliath is also an extremely fast swimmer. Angels are more dexterous, yet it’s difficult to prevent a huge mouth when you’re a small angelfish.

How do angelfish protect themselves from predators?

With such a diverse spectrum of predators, it’s understandable to be perplexed as to how angelfish manage to live at all. The good news is that angelfish don’t just sit around and wait for their time to come. They have devised a variety of defence systems and methods to keep them safe from harm, including the following:

·      Freezing

·      Fleeing

·      Camouflage

·      Fighting

Freezing in place

Wild angelfish, according to the Journal of Ichthyology, can freeze in place when they detect danger. They can also tell just how long they need to remain still before bursting into action and escaping from the situation. 

The researchers studied the anti-predatory behaviours of wild and captive angelfish and discovered a few significant variations between the two groups. The first is that wild angelfish remained frozen for a longer period when exposed to novel stimuli. In the wild, this type of behaviour is adaptive since anything new is often associated with something potentially hazardous. 

Wild angelfish, on the other hand, were seen to freeze for a shorter amount of time when they were presented with a visual cue from a predator. It was far shorter than the same confined species. 

When a predator is spotted, it is critical to remain frozen for a shorter period. If the angelfish remains frozen in place for an extended period, the window of opportunity for escape will be reduced. That, of course, reduces one’s chances of surviving the ordeal. 

If wild angelfish are suspicious, they will remain motionless for a longer period. This allows them to remain hidden and observe when a shark or barracuda passes by. If they spot the predator and are convinced that it has also seen them, they will be less hesitant to leap into action when the opportunity presents itself. Many other fish species lack this remarkable ability to predict when the ideal moment would arrive, which distinguishes angelfish as very astute.


In this post, we answered the question “What are the angelfish predators?”. We also discussed some of the predators’ main characteristics and angelfish techniques to protect themselves from predators.

If you have any thoughts or doubts, feel free to drop us a comment below!

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs): What are the angelfish, predators?

Are angelfish either predators or prey?

Angelfish are ambush predators who hunt on tiny fish and macroinvertebrates, which they catch by surprise. Angelfish are most active during the daylight hours. Angelfish are omnivores, which means they eat everything (their diet is based both on plants and animals). Freshwater angelfish are more carnivorous in the wild than saltwater angelfish. They particularly enjoy eating bloodworms, shrimp, and insects. 

Do angelfish fight? 

Angelfish are fierce competitors: The social structure of a school is formed by battle, with fish utilising their mouths to struggle and their tails as clubs to achieve victory. 

Are angelfish aggressive in any way? 

Angelfish, even though they are generally believed to be extremely calm, may become aggressive. They’re gregarious, feisty, and territorial, which makes them tough to keep in a tank with other species of fish. 

What are the queen angelfish predators? 

Larger fish are the major predators of queen angelfish, with smaller fish serving as secondary predators. Sharks and barracudas are among their natural predators. With their narrow, laterally compressed body structure, queen angels can more readily weave amongst corals, allowing them to escape from huge reef predators. 

What is the source of my angelfish’s aggression against other angelfish? 

Freshwater angelfish, in contrast to their saltwater relatives, seldom show signs of hostility. When they are reproducing, however, they will abruptly begin driving away other fish, even other angelfish, from the breeding area. In this instance, the violence is motivated by the need to protect their young. This activity guarantees that angelfish will be able to pass on their genes to future generations of angelfish. 

Is it necessary to keep a group of angelfish together? 

Angelfish should be kept in groups of at least 5 or 6 according to the majority of experts. As long as you have enough tank room, there is no reason why you can’t maintain more than six fish together at the same time. Angelfish, on the other hand, should not be kept alone.


Adaptations of an Angelfish to Environment and other Conditions. https://www.brighthub.com/environment/science-environmental/articles/84389/

What Are The Predators Of Angelfish?- https://www.justfishkeeping.com/what-are-the-predators-of-angelfish/

Are they angelfish prey or predators? https://amazing-animals-planet.com/post/are-angelfish-prey-or-predators