Asfur Angelfish
Asfur Angelfish

Asfur Angelfish

Pomacanthus asfur

Asfur Angelfish

The Asfur Angelfish (Pomacanthus asfur) is also known as Arabian Angelfish and Crescent Angelfish.

Pomacanthus asfur has not been evaluated for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.

Geographical range, habitat and habits

The Asfur Angelfish is found in the Western Indian Ocean, including the Red Sea. Its native range stretches from the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden down to Zanzibar.

This fish is typically found in semi-protected inshore reefs with prolific soft and hard coral growth, but it can also be encountered over patches of silt bottom. It is a non-migratory species with a depth range of 3-30 meters /10-100 feet.

The Asfur Angelfish lives singly or in pairs. It is very aggressive towards other members of its own species (except for its mate).

Size and appearance

The largest scientifically measured Asfur Angelfish was 40.0 cm / 15.7 in.

Juvenile specimens have blue bodies decorated with light-blue and white stripes. They can be confused with Koran Angelfish (Pomacanthus koran), but the Asfur Angelfish features three (predominantly) white bars. As the juvenile ages, it will develop yellow markings on its dorsal fin and the caudal fin will also turn yellow.

The adult Asfur Angelfish has a dark blue or dark purple body with a black head and bright yellow tail fin. Just as the name Crescent Angelfish suggests, a yellow crescent bisects the body vertically. As an adult, the Asfur Angelfish can be mistaken for Maculosus Angelfish (Pomocanthus maculosus) but Maculosus Angelfish doesn’t have a bright yellow non-transparent tail.

Asfur Angelfish care

The Asfur Angelfish is considered difficult to keep since it feeds on sponges in the wild. You can find more information about feeding further down in this article.

It is not recommended to house Asfur Angelfish in aquariums smaller than 100 gallons / 375 litres. It is important to include a lot of hiding spots in the aquarium and live rock suitable for grazing. This species is considered reef compatible with caution. It likes to nip at stony corals, soft corals and clam mantles, but will usually leave small-polyped stony corals and somewhat noxious soft corals alone.  

The Asfur Angelfish is a fairly shy and peaceful species that can be housed with other peaceful fishes, with some exceptions. In the wild, the Asfur Angelfish is found singly or in pairs and keeping more than one specimen of this species in the aquarium is not advisable unless it is a compatible pair. It will not only be aggressive towards its own species, it will attach other large angelfish as well.

Keep the water temperature in the 72-78º F / 22-25.5º C range, the specific gravity at 1.020-1.025, and the pH-value from 8.1 to 8.4.

Feeding Asfur Angelfish

In the wild, the omnivore Asfur Angelfish feeds chiefly on sponges, tunicates and small amounts of algae and it is advisable to provide it with this in the aquarium as well. It will also nip at stony corals, soft corals and clam mantles.

It can however be hard to create an aquarium where the growth of suitable food is fast enough and you may therefore be required to supplement with other food to keep your Asfur Angelfish well nourished. The Asfur Angelfish can usually be trained to accept not only live, but fresh, frozen and formula food as well. You can for instance combine meaty foods such as shrimp, mussels and squid with vegetables and special angelfish preparations. When you purchase angelfish preparations, choose variants containing spongiform products.

It is better to give your Asfur Angelfish many small servings of food throughout the day than just one or two big meals.  

Breeding Asfur Angelfish

The Asfur Angelfish is an egg-laying species that will scatter the eggs. All known marine angelfish species are protogynous hermaphrodites. All Asfur Angelfish specimens begin their life as females, but have the capacity to change into males when they grow older.

Marine Angelfish Articles:

African Flameback Angelfish – Centropyge acanthops
Bicolor Angelfish – Centropyge bicolor
Blueface Angelfish – Pomacanthus xanthometopon
Cherub Angelfish – Centropyge argi
Coral Beauty – Centropyge bispinosa
Emperor Angelfish – Pomacanthus imperator
Flame Angelfish – Centropyge loricula
French Angelfish – Pomacanthus paru
Herald's Angelfish – Centropyge heraldi
Koran Angelfish – Pomacanthus semicirculatus
Lamarck's Angelfish – Genicanthus lamarack
Potter's Angelfish – Centropyge potteri
Queen Angelfish – Holacanthus ciliaris
Regal Angelfish – Pygoplites diacanthus
Rock Beauty Angelfish – Holacanthus tricolor
Rusty Angelfish – Centropyge ferrugata
Watanabe's Angelfish – Genicanthus watanabei


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