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Cortez Angelfish receive their name from their natural home territory of the Sea of Cortez off the coast of Mexico. Cortez Angels are one of the few fish species from this region that make it into the marine aquarium trade. As juveniles, they exhibit dark black bodies with yellow and blue stripes running vertically and going from their mouth down to their tail fins. As adults, their bodies take on a more muted brown / grey coloration with areas of blue and yellow highlighting accents.
A diurnal feeder or substrate feeder. Primary food item are sponges supplemented by tunicates, algae, bryozoans, hydroids and eggs. Adults often range widely over the reef in pairs or loose aggregations while juveniles are territorial and solitary. Oviparous, monogamous. Breeding occurs from midsummer to early fall and juveniles are most abundant from August through November.
This species is distributed in the eastern Pacific Ocean. It ranges from the northern Gulf of California (from Puerto Peñasco, Mexico) in the north, to Peru in the south. This species may be vagrant in southern California (USA), the Galapagos Islands (Ecuador), Cocos Island (Costa Rica) and Malpelo Island (Colombia); it has not been recorded from Clipperton Island (France). It is usually found at depths of 6-12 m, but can occur up to 50 m.
It is typically associated with rocky reefs and adjacent sandy areas (Allen 1980, Dominici-Arosemena and Wolff 2006). The juveniles can be found in tidal rock pools. Adults often range widely over the reef in pairs or loose aggregations whereas juveniles tend to be territorial and solitary. The diet consists largely of colonial tunicates and sponges (Allen 1980). Breeding occurs from midsummer to early fall and juveniles are most abundant from August through November.
This species is widespread in the Eastern Pacific, and is common in many parts of its range. There are no major threats for this species, and no current indication of population decline. It is listed as Least Concern.
There are no major threats for this species. It is collected for the aquarium trade (Fenner 1995, Dominici-Arosemena et al. 2005), but the impacts of collection are believed to be localized.
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