Pomacanthus imperator   (Bloch,  1787) (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 40.0 cm SL (male).

Color: Juveniles are bluish black with concentric white circles. Adults blue with close-set horizontal yellow stripes on the sides and the adjoining dorsal and anal fins. Snout white; eye enclosed in a black vertical bar with blue edge; pectoral fin base area also black. Transformation to the adult color pattern occurs over the size range 8 - 12 cm.

Body oval, with bluntly pointed snout. Mouth small, with numerous teeth. Preoperculum finely serrate, the angular spine about equal to eye. Dorsal spines (total): 13-14; Dorsal soft rays (total): 17-21; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 18-21. Caudal fin convex.

Dioecious, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers.

Max. reported age: 14 years.

Form pairs. Young and adults may clean much larger fishes such as sunfish.

Synonym (s)
Acanthochaetodon imperator (Bloch, 1787)
(Senior synonym)
Acanthochaetodon nicobariensis (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Chaetodon imperator Bloch, 1787
(Senior synonym)
Chaetodon nicobariensis Bloch & Schneider, 1801
(Junior synonym)
Holacanthus imperator (Bloch, 1787)
(Senior synonym)
Holacanthus nicobariensis (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Pomacanthodes imperator (Bloch, 1787)
(Senior synonym)
Pomacanthus imperator (Bloch, 1787)
(Senior synonym)
Pomacanthus nicobariensis (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)
(Junior synonym)
Holacanthus imperator Day, 1875

Common Name (s)
• Emperor Angelfish (English)
• Handupholimas (Mahl)
• Harabalukokkamas (Mahl)
• Kullookolimeen (Tamil)
• Imperial Angelfish (English)
• Emperior Angel
Economic Importance and Threats
Importance:  Commercial
(Fisheries, aquarium, ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Bentho Pelagic, Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Consumer
Prey:  Sponges, encrusting organisms, tunicates, benthic algae/weeds


• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Tamil Nadu, Gulf of Mannar INDIA
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Great Nicobar Island INDIA (Record: 08/2000-07/2003)
• Tamil Nadu, Cuddalore Coast INDIA (Record: 09/2008)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2003) Habitat distribution and species diversity of coral reef fishes in the reefslope of the Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(1) 88-98 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Talwar, PK and Kacker, RK (1984) Commercial sea fishes of India ZSI, Calcutta 997 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Rajaram, R; Srinivasan, M; Khan, SA and Kannan, L (2004) Ichthyofaunal diversity of great Nicobar Island, Bay of Bengal Journal of Indian fisheries association 31 13-26 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Lakshmi, A and Sundaramanickam, A (2011) Biodiversity of reef ichthyofauna in Cuddalore coast, southeast coast of India International Journal of Environmental Sciences Integrated Publishing Association 1(7) 1616-1621 Available at - ipublishing.co.in/jesvol1no12010/EIJES2108.pdf
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa
  • Pillai, PKM and Augustine, SK (2000) A code list of common marine living resources of the Indian seas CMFRI Special Publication No.12 CMFRI 1-115 Available at - eprints.cmfri.org.in/3975/1/Special_Publication_No_12_Revised.pdf
  • Biswas, KP (2009) Fishes around Indian Ocean Reef Fishes Daya publishing house Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2011-12-08

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