The Nonindigenous Occurrences section of the NAS species profiles has a new structure. The section is now dynamically updated from the NAS database to ensure that it contains the most current and accurate information. Occurrences are summarized in Table 1, alphabetically by state, with years of earliest and most recent observations, and the tally and names of drainages where the species was observed. The table contains hyperlinks to collections tables of specimens based on the states, years, and drainages selected. References to specimens that were not obtained through sighting reports and personal communications are found through the hyperlink in the Table 1 caption or through the individual specimens linked in the collections tables.

Pomacanthus annularis
Pomacanthus annularis
(blue ringed angelfish)
Marine Fishes

Copyright Info
Pomacanthus annularis (Bloch, 1787)

Common name: blue ringed angelfish

Taxonomy: available through www.itis.govITIS logo

Identification: Juveniles are dark blue to black with alternating thin white and light-blue, well-spaced stripes on the sides. The stripes curve backward slightly, creating shallow crescents.  The caudal fin is transparent.  Adults are golden-brown with horizontal stripes radiating from the pectoral-fin base area, running along the sides towards the posterior portion of the dorsal fin. The stripes along the flanks are well-spaced, curved slightly towards the belly, and brilliant blue in color.  Two similar blue stripes run horizontally across the face, one running through the eye, from above the snout to the edge of the operculum.  The blue stripes continue onto the soft parts of the dorsal and anal fins.  A distinct blue ring is behind and slightly above the edge of the operculum. Caudal fin is white with bright yellow margin.  Grows to 34 cm TL.  Also called the blue-ringed angelfish.  From Allen et al. (1998 and 2003).

Similar species:  Juvenile queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) and blue angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis) have vertical blue body bars.  No other Atlantic angelfish has blue body markings.

Size: 34 cm TL

Native Range: Widespread throughout the Indo-West Pacific, including East Africa (north of Natal), Madagascar, Sri Lanka and Indonesia east to New Guinea and the Solomon Islands and north to southern Japan (Allen et al. 1998).

Interactive maps: Point Distribution Maps

Nonindigenous Occurrences: A single individual was seen three times in 2001 off Pompano Beach, Florida.

Table 1. States with nonindigenous occurrences, the earliest and latest observations in each state, and the tally and names of HUCs with observations†. Names and dates are hyperlinked to their relevant specimen records. The list of references for all nonindigenous occurrences of Pomacanthus annularis are found here.

StateFirst ObservedLast ObservedTotal HUCs with observations†HUCs with observations†
FL200120011Florida Southeast Coast

Table last updated 6/13/2024

† Populations may not be currently present.

Ecology: The species inhabits coastal reefs at depths of one to 60 m, where it may occur singly or in pairs.  It feeds on zooplankton, tunicates and sponges.  From Allen et al. (1998 and 2003).

Means of Introduction: Probable aquarium release.

Status: Reported from Florida.

Impact of Introduction: The impacts of this species are currently unknown, as no studies have been done to determine how it has affected ecosystems in the invaded range. The absence of data does not equate to lack of effects. It does, however, mean that research is required to evaluate effects before conclusions can be made.

References: (click for full references)

Allen, G. R., R. Steene and M. Allen.  1998.  A Guide to Angelfishes and Butterflyfishes.  Odyssey Publishing/Tropical Reef Research, Perth.

Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach.  2003.  Reef Fish Identification.  Tropical Pacific.  New World Publications, Inc., Jacksonville, Florida and Odyssey Publications, El Cajon, California.

Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF).  2008.  Exotic species sighting program and volunteer database. World wide web electronic publication. www.reef.org, date of download March 10, 2008.

Other Resources:
FishBase Summary

Author: Schofield, P.J.

Revision Date: 4/27/2018

Peer Review Date: 4/24/2009

Citation Information:
Schofield, P.J., 2024, Pomacanthus annularis (Bloch, 1787): U.S. Geological Survey, Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database, Gainesville, FL, https://nas.er.usgs.gov/queries/FactSheet.aspx?SpeciesID=2295, Revision Date: 4/27/2018, Peer Review Date: 4/24/2009, Access Date: 6/14/2024

This information is preliminary or provisional and is subject to revision. It is being provided to meet the need for timely best science. The information has not received final approval by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) and is provided on the condition that neither the USGS nor the U.S. Government shall be held liable for any damages resulting from the authorized or unauthorized use of the information.


The data represented on this site vary in accuracy, scale, completeness, extent of coverage and origin. It is the user's responsibility to use these data consistent with their intended purpose and within stated limitations. We highly recommend reviewing metadata files prior to interpreting these data.

Citation information: U.S. Geological Survey. [2024]. Nonindigenous Aquatic Species Database. Gainesville, Florida. Accessed [6/14/2024].

Contact us if you are using data from this site for a publication to make sure the data are being used appropriately and for potential co-authorship if warranted.

For general information and questions about the database, contact Wesley Daniel. For problems and technical issues, contact Matthew Neilson.