Do Angelfish Have Teeth? (Do They Bite?)

Angelfish are known to frequently nip at other fish, especially when they are breeding. Do Angelfish have teeth when they nip?

Will an angel fish bite hurt? What would an angelfish use their teeth for? Are they sharp?

In this article, we will take a bite, snap and stab at finding out whether or not, do angelfish have teeth?

Do Angel Fish Have Teeth?

Yes angel fish do have teeth, but the teeth are not located in their jaw. You will not be blamed for not noticing any teeth. This is because the teeth are further down in their throats.

They use their teeth to:

  • pull
  • yank 
  • tear

Angel fish do not need teeth for chewing, fighting or killing their prey. The teeth are protective and allows them to digest what they swallow in smaller pieces as it travels down their throats.

do angel fish have teeth

Fresh Water Angel Fish

The main function of the teeth in the throat is to break down or process the food the angel fish has swallowed.

Angel fish are not able to grab on to anything with their teeth. Angel fish are known to frequently nip at other fish, especially if they are laying or protecting eggs.

Can Angel Fish Hurt Other Fish?

Yes, it’s possible that angelfish will defend themselves or cause a little trouble. Angel fish can

  • bully
  • push
  • chase
  • bump
  • fin nip

They will not use their teeth to damage or injure other fish. Since their teeth are located deeper in their throats, they will not cause harm to other fish in the tank.

Do Silver Dollar Fish Have Teeth?

Many people confuse the silver dollar fish with angel fish as they look very similar.

Silver dollar fish do have teeth in their jaw and they also have a very powerful bite.  They are also in the same family as piranha fish.

This fish is not related to the angel fish in any way.  Do not get them mixed up.  Be very careful if you need to handle these fish.

silver dollar fish

Do Grey Saltwater Angel Fish Have Teeth?

Yes they do. They have small comb-like teeth in their jaw that they can use to hook onto objects.

Saltwater angel fish have a very special way of eating prey. It is able to dislocate its jaw to fit larger objects in to its mouth, then it has a double joint in its jaw which enables it to bite down on the prey.

They have developed this way of eating prey because they have had to adapt to living in a reef environment where it is more important to have a firm hold on your food when you catch it.

Grey Saltwater Angel Fish teeth

Can an Angelfish Bite Hurt You?

Angelfish can bite humans, but their bite should not hurt. This is a subjective question that depends on your pain threshold. They cannot clamp down hard enough to cause severe bleeding.

In most cases, there will be no blood. Your finger or other body part must be accessible for an angelfish to use teeth deeper in their throat to actually bite you.

If you consider being nipped at to be a bite, know that you were only attacked by their mouth. Chances are you didn’t feel their teeth.

The bite can sting or hurt for a short time, but you will not need urgent care. I always use iodine or hydrogen peroxide just in case and wash my finger well before I do so.

YouTube video

Do Angelfish Have Jaws?

Yes. The angel fish is special because of their powerful protruding jaw. They have this extra joint attached to the lower part of their jaw to extend and bite at prey that passes by.

The teeth are like bristles located deeper down below in their throats which can hold onto the food and tear into smaller pieces. Angel fish use their jaw to

  • clamp
  • yank
  • bite
  • grasp

Are Their Teeth Sharp?

The teeth of angelfish are not very sharp. They are thin bristles that scrape, tear and yank food. The teeth run down their throats and tear away at smaller fish to make them more digestible without needing to chew.

The teeth are well developed and highly useful. Angel fish do not need long sharp teeth the way sharks do. These teeth finish the job after extending their jaw and snapping down on prey with their mouths.


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Hello, I'm Jason. I'm the guy behind I volunteer at my local fish shop and I created this site to offer tips and advice on the fish I care for.