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A queen angelfish, with its bright yellow and blue coloring, swims by in Caribbean Reef.

Queen Angelfish

Queen angelfish get their name from the "crown" of electric blue encircling a black spot just above their eyes. Their vibrant colors help them evade predators by blending in among equally vivid corals on Caribbean and western Atlantic reefs.

Juvenile queen angelfish has dramatic black and white stripes breaking up the bright yellow coloring that they will grow into.
A young queen angelfish's dark coloring and yellow stripes begin to fade into the bright yellow coloring of adulthood.

Junior cleanup crew

Juvenile queen angelfish feed on parasites living on larger fishes. It might sound daring, but it's a common symbiotic relationship on coral reefs: The small fish position themselves to advertise their cleaning services and other fishes line up. Cleaning stations are safe zones from predation. While the young fish get an easy, high-protein meal, their "clients" benefit from the removal of parasites on their scales and gills. Adult queen angelfish are omnivores, feeding mainly on sponges and algae.

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