Identification: Adults are violet-blue with a large yellow blotch on the middle of the body. Scales on the forehead and nape have dark edges. Dorsal and caudal fins have yellow patches with light-blue markings. Dorsal and anal fins end in filaments. Juveniles have a dark blue body color with several white and pale blue bars along the sides (similar to P. asfur). The caudal fin is transparent. Yellow markings along the sides of juveniles generally appear around the size of 6 cm, while full transformation to adult coloration occurs at a size from 10 to 15 cm TL. Can grow to 40 cm TL. From Allen et al. (1998).
Similar species: The rock beauty (Holacanthus tricolor) has a black body with yellow head and tail. Juvenile queen angelfish (Holacanthus ciliaris) and blue angelfish (Holacanthus bermudensis) have bright blue body bars. Juvenile French angelfish (Holacanthus paru) and gray angelfish (Holacanthus arcuatus) have bright yellow body bars on black body.
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 maculosus are found here.
Table last updated 2/27/2023
† Populations may not be currently present.
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.
Alwany, M.A. 2009. Distribution and feeding ecology of the angelfishes (Pomacanthidae) in Shalateen region, Red Sea, Egypt. Egyptian Journal of Aquatic Biology and Fisheries 13(1):79-91.
Bariche, M. 2010. First record of the angelfish Pomacanthus maculosus (Teleostei: Pomacanthidae) in the Mediterranean. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 16(1):31-33.
Evans, J., Zammi, E. & Schembri, P. J. (2016) First record of the yellowbar angelfish Pomacanthus maculosus (Forsskål, 1775) in the central Mediterranean (Maltese Islands). Journal of Applied Ichthyology 32(6), 1226–1228.
Grandcourt, E., T.Z. Al Abdessalaam, F. Francis and A. Al Shamsi. 2010. Age-based life history parameters and status assessments of by-catch species (Lethrinus borbonicus, Lethrinus microdon, Pomacanthus maculosus and Scolopsis taeniatus) in the southern Arabian Gulf. Journal of Applied Ichthyology 26:381-389.
Pyle, R., Rocha, L.A. & Craig, M.T. 2010. Pomacanthus maculosus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T165833A6144097. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T165833A6144097.en.
Reef Environmental Education Foundation (REEF). 2008. Exotic species sighting programs and volunteer database. World wide web electronic publication. www.reef.org, date of download March 10, 2008.
Salameh, P., Sonin, O., Edelist, D., and D. Golani. 2012. The first substantiated record of the yellowbar angelfish, Pomacanthus maculosus (Actinopterygii: Perciformes: Pomacanthidae) in the Mediterranean. Acta Ichthyologica Et Piscatoria 42(1):73-74.
Soeth, M., Adelir-alves, J., Loose, R., Daros, F.A., and H. L. Spach. 2018 First record of Pomacanthus maculosus (Perciformes, Pomacanthidae) in the south-western Atlantic Ocean. Journal of Fish Biology
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.