Bandit angelfish have a pretty small diet consisting of only a few different types of organisms.  They are omnivorous fish, feeding on marine plant and animal species.  Sponges are its main source of food.   Many sponges have a symbiotic relationship with microbes, mainly algal microbes.  Most of these relationships are Blue Sponge - Taken by Mark Jungemutualistic and can be very beneficial for the sponge but have detrimental effects on the ecosystem that the sponges and angelfish live in.  Sponges also have two ways of keeping predators away – secreting toxins and presence of spicules.  They have a skeleton made of many spicules that deter predators from consuming them because of the rigidity of the spicules; however, this is not the case for the bandit angelfish because these irritating spicules are digested fine within its GI tract.  Bandit angelfish consume the sponges by digging their small, pointed mouths deep into the sponge, while using their numerous teeth to shred small pieces of the sponge apart.  Similar to sponges, tunicates and zoobenthos are alsoPorifera - Taken by Mark Junge sought to eat by the bandit angelfish.  Zoobenthose are a group of animals found solely on the ocean floor.  The zoobenthos in the diet of the bandit consist of crustaceans, nematodes, foraminiferans, and other smaller animals or protists that can be consumed by these fish.


              For those angelfish that lack size or are still juveniles, a slightly different diet is necessary.  These smaller fish feed mainly on algae with other seaweed, hydroids, and eggs found in the diet as well.  All of these preyed on organisms are plentiful in reef areas.  Hydroids, Porifera - Taken by Mark Jungewhich are predatory animals related to jellyfish and coral, are found throughout reef ecosystems in many different shapes, sizes and forms.  Only the smaller hydroids are of importance to the bandit angelfish because of the smaller size of the angelfish itself being less than 18.0 cm.  Like mentioned before, a diet of algae can create a problem for the fish, and if not the fish, to humans because of the microbial species often associated with algae.  High concentrations can be detrimental to the ecosystem while humans can even be affected by these microbes in low concentrations.


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