There are close to 100 different species of angelfish (pomacanthidae) but the three most come to spot in St. Maarten are the French Angelfish, the Gray Angelfish and the Queen Angelfish.

French Angelfish

The most common is the French angelfish which are easy to identify due to there distinctive coloring and disc shaped body. These fish have a grey face, yellow ring around the eye, black and yellow body and yellow fin tips. Their appearance and curious nature make them a favorite of many divers.

Gray Angelfish

Gray angelfish can often be spotted on the shallow reefs of St. Maarten like the one pictured below on the dive site Moonscape (max depth 10m/30ft).

Gray Angelfish on dive site Moonscape St. Maarten, photo by Leslie Hickerson.

Juvenile gray angelfish are almost entirely black with several yellow bands that run vertically along their body, which turn white as they grow into adulthood. These fish are very similar to their ‘French’ counterparts, but can grow slightly larger reaching a maximum of 24 inches long (60cm).

Queen Angelfish

Queen Angelfish are some of the most brightly colored and beautiful angelfish, but the hardest to find in SXM. These fish are normally more shy than their ‘french’ and ‘gray’ counterparts, so they are less likely to approach divers.

Queen Angelfish on Proselyte Reef, Sint Maarten. Photo by Leslie Hickerson

Fun Facts:

  • These fish appear to mate for life! The male and female partner will spend most of their time together and they reproduce by spawning.
  • Angelfish can be highly territorial and will defend their feeding grounds with their partner.

Where to Spot these Species

Angelfish are most commonly found within the Marine Protected Area on St. Maarten and the dive site Moonscape.

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