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Species profile—Genicanthus lamarck (Lamarck's angelfish)


Animalia (animals) → Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) → Pomacanthidae (anglefishes) → Genicanthus lamarck (Lamarck's angelfish)

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Species details

Animalia (animals)
Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Pomacanthidae (anglefishes)
Scientific name
Genicanthus lamarck (Lacépède, 1802)
Common name
Lamarck's angelfish
WildNet taxon ID
Conservation significant
Wetland status
Wetland Dependant Species
Pest status
Lamarck's angelfish has a white body and black dorsal fin. This species is easily identified by the black lines running the length of the body, present in both sexes. Colour differences are minor between sexes and juvenile to adult stages. Males have thicker stripes and longer tail fin lobes. This species grows to about 20cm in length, not including the tail fin lobes.
Lamarck's angelfish are found in tropical marine waters of the Indo-west Pacific from the Indo-Malay region, eastward to Vanuatu, north to southern Japan, and south to Australia. In Australia, it is known from Escape Reef in the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland and the Ashmore and Cartier Islands off the northern coast of Western Australia.
Distributional limits
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Species environment
This species inhabits outer coral reefs along deep slopes and shallow inshore waters to 3m. Small juveniles are secretive and found on deep rubble slopes in depths of at least 40m.
Lamarck's angelfish occur in loose groups, controlled by a large male. Male angelfish defend their territory by driving away other male competitors. This is performed in order to maintain access to a mate. They often swim high above the bottom to forage, where the ocean currents are strong. Like most angelfish, they probably shelter under boulders or in crevices on the reef.
For many species of angelfish, spawning (mating) occurs at dusk. Usually a single pair, although sometimes a small group, will congregate off the ocean bottom. When a female arrives nearby, the male performs a courtship display. This involves erecting his fins and swimming rapidly back and forth. Then the male and female swim spiralling toward the surface, where they simultaneously shed eggs and sperm, before returning to the ocean bottom. The eggs are less than 1mm in diameter and hatch 15-20 hours later.
Angelfish of the Genicanthus genus forage on zooplankton.
Contributors: Mellisa Mayhew 16/10/2008; Wayne Martin 09/11/2008
Egerton, L. (ed.) (2005). Encyclopedia of Australian Wildlife, (Revised Edition). Readers Digest Pty Ltd, Sydney.
Froese, R. & Pauly, D. (eds). (2008). FishBase, version (09/2008). World Wide Web electronic publication, Accessed 09/11/2008 .
Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & Allen, G.R. (2006). Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia, Volume 35.2, p. 1307. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Collingwood.
Kuiter, R.H. (1996). Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland Ltd, Sydney.
Profile author
Mellisa Mayhew (09/11/2008)

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Data source

This profile data is sourced from the QLD Wildlife Data API using the Get species by ID function used under CC-By 4.0.

This information is sourced from the WildNet database managed by the Queensland Department of Environment and Science.

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Last updated
20 May 2024