Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Pomacentridae (Damselfishes)

Genus/species: Dascyllus melanurus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Deep and compressed body; white with three black bars, rear two-thirds of tail is black; large white spot between eyes extends to lips. Pectoral fins transparent.

Length up to 8 cm (3 inches)



DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Blacktail Damselfish are found in the Western Pacific among branching corals in inshore and lagoon reefs to 68 m (210 ft).

DIET IN THE WILD: Omnivore; feeds on plankton, including larval shrimps and crabs, algae, ostracods, amphipods, pelagic tunicates, copepods, and fish eggs.

Dascyllus melanurus4437575636_cc28be23c1_b

REPRODUCTION: The Blacktail Damselfish is oviparous, with distinct pairing during breeding  The eggs are demersal and adhering  to the substrate  Males guard and aerate the eggs. Recent research suggests this species is a protogynous hermaphrodite.

CONSERVATION: IUCN Red List Not Evaluated

REMARKS: They hide among Acropora branching corals when threatened, though adults have an aggressive temperament.


California Academy of Sciences Philippine coral reef and Defenses Cluster 2016

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