What are the different types of freshwater angelfish?

In this article we will discuss different types of angelfish.This article will give you each and every details about different types of marine and freshwater angelfish.


In this blog

  • What are the different types of freshwater angelfish?
  • Broader classification of freshwater angelfish
  • Most popular types of angelfish
  • Types of saltwater angelfish
  • Summary 
  • Frequently asked questions

What are the different types of freshwater angelfish?

The different types of freshwater angelfish are:

Species nameGeneral Body scales
Pterophyllum altum Tall46-48
Pterophyllum leopoldi Long nose 29-35
Pterophyllum scalare Most common aquarium trade angelfish35-45

Other types:

  • Emperor angelfish
  • French angelfish
  • Queen angelfish
  • Blue angelfish

Broader classification of freshwater angelfish

Pterophyllum altum

  • They are also known as deep angelfish,altum angelfish and Orinoco angelfish.
  • Confined to Orinoco River,Rio Negro,Southeastern Colombia, Northern Brazil regios only.
  • They are generally tall and adult altums are 6 inches long and 8 plus inches tall.
  • No.of body scales-46-48 
  • Peru Altum Angelfish are rarest among altums.
  • They have a  lifespan of 10 to15 years.

Pterophyllum leopoldi

  • Also known as the roman-nosed angelfish,teardrop angelfish and Leopold’s angelfish dwarf angelfish.
  • They are found in the Amazon river,Essequibo river and Rupununi river.
  • 2-3.9 inches in length
  • No.of body scales-29-35

Pterophyllum scalare

  • Most commonly found in aquarium trade.
  • Mostly similar to altum but they have more number of soft dorsal and anal fin rays.
  • No.of scales-35-45
  • Found in Colombia,Guyana, Suriname, French Guiana, Peru and Brazil.

Most popular types of angelfish

Blushing angelfish

  • Rare and difficult to find.
  • Found in the Amazon rainforest in South America.
  • Size- Blushing angelfish are about 6-8 inches in length
  • Body feature-Either silver or white in color and have blood red cheeks.
  • Body shape-Diamond shaped,have a round and laterally compressed body.Their dorsal and anal fins are triangular in shape.
  • Most prominent feature is their red gills
  • They lack pigmentation due to their blushing gene

Marble angelfish

  • Freshwater angelfish 
  • 6 inches in length when fully grown
  • Mottled arrangement or marble arrangements.
  • They come in gold, black, white, and silver coloration.

Golden marble angelfish

  • Gold marble veil angelfish is one of the most common variants of marbled angelfish.
  • They have very thin and tall bodies.
  • 6 inches in length when fully grown.
  • Subtype of koi angels.
  • Golden patches are their distinctive feature.

Half-black angelfish

  • Scientific name- Centropyge vroliki
  • Also called as dwarf angelfish
  • They are found in Indonesia
  • They have a half black and half pearled in coloration
  • Body size-4 to 6 inches in length
  • Sex determination is difficult

Zebra angelfish

  • Also known as Zebra lyretail angelfish
  • Distinct feature- balck and dark stripes on their body
  • Size -up to 10 inches in length
  • Lifespan- They can live up to 15 years.
  • The rarest variant of zebra fish is Blue zebra angelfish.
  • They are sexually dimorphic.
  • Found in the Red Sea and the Indian ocean.

Silver angelfish

  • Most common freshwater angelfish in aquarium trade.
  • Distinctive feature- three vertical black stripes which fade according to their mood.
  • Size -Fully grown are 10 inches in length in their wild habitats
  • Eyes are red coloured.

Koi angelfish

  • Angel koi fish resemble the Japanese koi
  • They have a  black and white body coloration and gold coloured head.
  • Young angel koi fish are famous for their red hue under their eyes which goes away as they age.
  • They have orange coloured bodies which indicates the stress levels.More the orange color,more is the stress.
  • They are without stripes and are Up to 6 inches in length.

Black lace angelfish

  • Rare and most attractive angelfish.
  • Black lace angelfish are 6 inches in diameter and 14 inches tall.
  • Sensitive to cooler temperatures.
  • They are dark black and velvet colored angelfish.
  • As they age their fins also grow longer.

Golden angelfish

  • Also known as Aurinatus angelfish or Velvet dwarf angelfish.
  • Different color forms of golden angelfish-Orange, red, yellow
  • Found in Indonesia and Vanuatu.
  • Size – About 4-6 inches in length.

Blue Leopard angelfish

  • They come from South America
  • Lifespan they can live up to 10 plus years
  • Max Size: 6 inches in length
  • They have a  prominent marble and spotted “leopard” pattern
  • Blue genes are more prominent in bigger  blue leopards

Albino angelfish

  • Albino angelfish are found in the Amazon river basin.
  • Body colouration-white to silver in color with yellow or orange coloration across the head and has pink eyes.
  • Lifespan – They can live between 8 to 9 years

Smokey angelfish

  • Mutant form of angelfish.
  • Front part of the body is light coloured, and the back part of the body, along with the tail is dark grey. 
  • Their fins are thin, delicate and long and mostly webbed.
  • They come in blue and chocolate varieties.

Platinum angelfish

  • They are white or grayish in appearance 
  • Little bit of blue or green colors on their fins.
  • Platinum Angelfish have been rare and difficult to find
  • They come from the warm waters of the Amazon basin in South America

Ghost angelfish

  • They have a  stripeless gene ,and that’s the reason they are without markings on their body.
  • Color forms- Light or dark coloured bodies
  •  Very active energetic and aggressive 
  • They get stripes on their bodies as they start aging.
  • Gray ghost angels are common varieties of ghost angelfish.

Clown angelfish

  • Clown angelfish are uncommon variant of the classic angelfish
  • Body size-Very thin, tall body,6 inches long and 8 plus inches tall
  • They come from Northern South America
  • Shoaling cichlid -They shoal in groups.
  • Peaceful temperament, but gets aggressive during spacing.

Types of saltwater angelfish

Dwarf or pygmy angels

  • Also known as cherubfish, cherub angelfish, or Atlantic pygmy angelfish
  • Smaller in size 3.1 to 5.5 inches in length
  • Semi-aggressive angelfish
  • Bi-coloured- Orange and blue

Genicanthus personatus or masked angelfish

  • They are endemic to Hawaii.
  • They are idolized reef fish
  • Body color-marble-white body coloration 
  • Protogynous hermaphrodite -All are females and the dominant female changes to male in the group.
  • Fins- They are famous for their yellow pelvic fins
  • Size- They are 8.3 inches in length when fully matured

Chaetodontoplus melanosoma or black-velvet angelfish

  • Also known as brown angelfish, or phantom angelfish.
  • They inhabits in  coastal reefs of western Pacific Ocean
  • Body color-They are completely black or completely brown in colour.They have an ochre coloured face and yellowish-orange forehead.
  • The dorsal fin have 13 spines and 17-19 soft rays and have yellow margins
  • The anal fin have 3 spines and 17-18 soft rays and have yellow margins
  • Size- 7.9 inches in length when fully matured.

 Apolemichthys xanthurus or Indian yellowtail angelfish

  • Also known as Indian yellowtail angelfish,smoke angelfish,cream angelfish and yellowtail black angelfish.
  • Found in the Indian ocean.
  • Size- Fully growns are 5.9 inches in length 
  • Cream coloured body with lattice patterns on it.
  • Caudal fins are bright yellow coloured. 
  • Dorsal and anal fins are black in colour with white margings on them.
  • Dorsal fins have 14 spines and 17-19 soft rays.
  • Anal fins have 3 spines and 17-18 soft rays.

Genicanthus bellus or ornate angelfish

  • They are also known as  bellus angelfish or bellus lyretail angelfish.
  • Found in the Indo-Pacific region.
  • Sexually dichromatic- Both males and females display different colourations.
  • The dorsal fin has 15 spines and 15-16 soft rays. 
  • The anal fin has 3 spines and 16-17 soft rays. 
  • Size-Maximum total length of 18 centimeters.

Blue-spotted angelfish

  • It is from the Western-Pacific Ocean.
  • The dorsal fin has 13 spines and 17 soft rays
  • The anal fin has 3 spines and 17 soft rays
  • Size- Maximum total length of 20 centimeters,7.9 inches in length.
  • Head part-Pale orange-brown in color
  • Rest part of the body is dusky brown to bluish-black and is marked with dense blue spots on them.

Apolemichthys griffisi or Griffis angelfish

  • It is found in the Pacific Ocean
  • Body color-grayish white or ash coloured body 
  • A large black spot is found on the head.
  • dorsal fin is largely black coloured
  • Anal and pelvic fins are white in colour
  • Dorsal fin has 14 spines and 18 soft rays 
  • Anal fin has 3 spines and 18 soft rays.
  • Size-They have a maximum total length of 30 centimeters i.e 12 inches in length.

Holacanthus passer or King angelfish

  • Body color- brown or blue coloured bodies.Juveniles go through significant changes in colouration as they age.
  • Males and females are visually similar.
  • Dorsal fins has 18 and 20 rays
  • Anal fins has 17 to 19 rays 

Holacanthus bermudensis or Bermuda blue angelfish

  • They are found in the western Atlantic Ocean.
  • deep, oval-shaped body and laterally compressed.
  • Body color-Bluish-yellow body 
  • The snouts,mouth and teeth are smaller in size.
  • The dorsal fin has 15 spines and 19-21 soft rays
  • The anal fin has 3 spines and 20-21 soft rays
  • Size-Their maximum total length is 45 centimeters,that is 18 inches in length.

Holacanthus ciliaris or Queen angelfish

  • Warm-water species that are found in the western Atlantic Ocean.Majorly seen near coral reefs.
  • Also known as  blue angelfish, golden angelfish or yellow angelfish
  • Body shape-They have compressed and oval-shaped body
  • They have a blunt snout and small mouth.
  • The dorsal fin  has 14 spines and 19–21 soft rays.
  •  The anal fin has 3 spines and 20–21 soft rays.
  • Body size- 45 cm  or 18 inches in length when fully mature.
  • Body weight- They weigh up to 1,600 g 
  • Sexualy dimorphism is not prominent but males are  larger than females.


  • Angelfish comes in huge varieties both in wild habitat and captive bred ones.
  • Angelfish are found in both freshwater and marine waters.
  • Angelfish are very famous aquarium fish due to their unique personalities.Their variants and mutants are extremely beautiful and colorful.
  • Angelfish come in various shapes and sizes.
  • These cichlids are semi-aggressive in nature.

Frequently asked questions

Where are angelfish found in the wild?

Angelfish are found in the river basins of Colombia, Peru, Brazil, Guyana and French Guyana in the wild.

Which angelfish is considered as the most attractive among all the angelfish?

Zebra or silver angelfish,the blacklace variation of angelfish is considered as the most attractive among all the angelfish.

What is the unusual type of angelfish?

The unusual type of angelfish is a saltwater variety,called as black phantom and they are found in the northern Philippines regions.