Emperor Angelfish

Pomacanthus Imperator
Emperor Angelfish - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Pomacanthus Imperator
Other names Imperial Angelfish, Imperator Angelfish
Size Up to 40cm
Weight Up to 1.5kg


Habitat & AU Distribution Clear lagoons, reefs, and surge channels.
Depth Range
Emperor Angelfish Distribution Australia

Interesting Info

  • Like most Angelfish, this is a territorial fish often found on its own in less mating. Young fish stay in the shallows whilst adults can be found in up to 100 m (328 ft).
  • The Emperor Angelfish generally spawn once a year and male fish have 2 or more females in their harem.
  • A interesting note about breeding is that the males make grunting noises as they descend from spawning.
  • Juveniles appear very different to adults, with dark blue and black colours highlighted by curved/circular light blue and white lines. The change in juvenile colours to adults takes place over a two to two and a half year period.
  • These fish are omnivores and primarily feed on algae and sponges, but also eat small invertebrates, zooplankton and plants.
  • Estimates on lifespan have them reaching up to 21 years of age.
  • The main predators of angelfish include sharks, larger predatory fish and marine mammals.
Species Interaction

Aquarium & Reef

The Emperor Angelfish also known as the Imperial Anglefish is a very popular reef species well known for its bright colours. Juvenile fish typically stay in the shallows of inner reefs and lagoons whilst adults can be found on the outer reef in caves or crevices. The Emperor is a very popular aquarium fish due to its incredible colours.

The fish has a large range across the tropical west Pacific and Indian Oceans, to the Red Sea, Australia and even spotted in the Mediterranean.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Pomacanthidae

Genus: Pomacanthus

Species: Pomacanthus imperator

Conservation Status

Based on the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN), the Emperor Angelfish is currently categorised as “Least Concern”(LC).

LC is the lowest category on the scale for risk with “Extinct”(EX) being the highest.

Fish Taste Quality

Emperor Angelfish are a edible fish but are not a targeted species for consumption.

Taste Rating: 0/5

How to catch
Emperor Angelfish

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Sponge, Weed, Worms

Popularity: Not targeted

Emperor Angelfish
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 130 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Danger: None