Blue Angelfish or Townsend Angelfish?

Blue or Townsend.JPG
Blue or Townsnd.JPG

We're trying to identify this , will someone lend a hand ? Is this a Blue Angelfish or a Townsend Angel? This was taken in a reef off Key Largo last summer. Thanks, pdmoor

I'm gonna go with Townsend.

I'm gonna go with Townsend. It doesn't really have any conspicuous markings... typical of a hybrid.


This one is a bit difficult, but I'd say it's a Blue Angelfish. Like the Queen Angelfish, Blue Angels may sometimes have a "crown", though it's usually not as bright as the Queen's.

They look about the same.

But I'm fairly certain this guy's a Townsend. This crown seems a lot more defined than a blue's bluish smudge and it seems to have a bit more yellow on the fins and tail than a blue.


Yes, possibly more colorful than the average Blue Angelfish, but check out this photo: That Blue Angel looks very similar to the angel in Pdmoor's photo.

The photographer has authored a book on angelfishes (in German) so I assume the photo is correctly identified.

Blue or Townsend ?

Thanks for your comments and help in identification. So far we have 2 votes for Townsend and 1 Vote for Blue. It seems to be a difficult one to I.D. Anyone else care to join in the discussion ?

Young Blue Angelfish

It would be helpful to know the approximate size. When young, juvenile Blues and Queens are very similar. Both have a crown and a solid yellow tail. As they grow, the Blue Angel slowly looses its crown and the yellow tail transitions to the yellow margin. I dive a lot around Blues and Queens in all stages of development, and feel strongly that this is a young Blue.

X2 on a hybrid.

X2 on a hybrid.

Queen, Blue, and Townsend

I just photographed a Townsend two days ago on one of my favorite dive sites. I've grouped it with photos of a Queen and a Blue I took on the same site. This is the first time I am positive of a Townsend siting because of the clear crown with white spots and a yellow margin on the tail. You can go to the link below and click on one of the photos to enlarge it:.

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