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Queen angelfish are easily distinguished by their striking coloration, with vibrant yellow accents and variations of gem-like blues. Their distinctive "crown" is speckled dark blue and surrounded by a ring of bright blue. Their tail is yellow. Juveniles have a markedly different coloration than adults, displaying a striped blue and yellow pattern or a solid yellow pattern. The body of queen angelfish is very flat, with an elongated, continuous dorsal and anal fin with 9 to 15 spines and 15 to 17 soft rays. They have a strong spine at the angle of the preopercle (cheek bone) and lack a well developed pelvic axillary process (fleshy bump at the base of the pelvic fin). Queen angelfish average 45 cm in length and 1.6 kg in mass. Males are generally larger than females.