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Like trees with colorful leaves of change in autumn, soft corals can create colorful underwater vistas in tropical seas. But despite their beauty, soft corals may sometimes indicate a turbulent past in a reef ecosystem. Soft corals are successful colonizers and are often among the first species to appear on damaged reefs. Several areas in the Indo-Pacific have seen an increase in soft corals since a major coral bleaching event destroyed many of the hard corals that dominated shallow coral reefs. Similarly, they often dominate reefs that have been subjected to dynamite fishing in the past.
The blue ring angelfish is the most common angelfish in Sri Lanka. It is particularly common on the western and southern coast where it prefers shallow inshore reefs. Juveniles of this species can be found near estuaries and on silty coastal reefs while large adults are often found on rocky reefs and shipwrecks. In Sinhalese, this fish is sometimes called 'manamaalaya' or bridegroom on account of its vibrant colors.