Banggai Damselfish Amblypomacentrus clarus
Hello hello! Got a damselfish question for you (and for a change it's
not 'can you identify this damselfish' type question). I will freely
admit, damsels are my favorite SW fish (my fave FW fish are livebearers,
guess I just have common tastes!).
<Heeee! But good, diverse ones!>
So when a new batch of "assorted damsels" comes in I always check them
out to see if anything interesting has arrived. This past week I found
two beauties, a Staghorn damsel (Amblyglyphidodon curacao) and a Banggai
Damselfish (Amblypomacentrus clarus).
Apparently the Banggai Damsel was fairly recently discovered and most of
what I can find online is scientific in nature. While that's useful in
its own way I'm really looking for more general care information,
compatibility, adult size, etc. Any useful information you can pass
along to me will be greatly appreciated!
<Wish I had some to impart (I don't)... Would imagine its care would be
similar for its congeners, but I have little experience (have only seen
A. breviceps briefly in captivity and the wild). Appears to be a
skittish, singular species; not too mean (more like Pomacentrus or
Chrysiptera let's say rather than Stegastes or Dascyllus... is it
aquarium-hardy? Again, I don't know. Perhaps you will contribute to its
captive husbandry notes. Bob Fenner>
Re: Banggai Damselfish
Amblypomacentrus clarus; and damsel ID 1/23/15
Thanks! There seem to be a number of papers in Japanese about this fish, which
doesn't do me any good.
<There's highly likely more available via a computerized bibliographic search
(there's a bit re this on WWM); but again, I doubt if it pertains to practical
My identification as A. clarus rather than A. breviceps is based on the lack of
yellow coloration and the sharpness of the markings. So it is possible that the
colors will change a bit as the fish settles in but I'm pretty sure of the ID.
My fish is very small, clearly a juvenile, so there does not seem to be a
juvenile/adult color shift in this species. Actually I was lucky to ID this one
so quickly as there is so little online about these.
<Have most all G. Allen's Pomacentrid works, and look more than once/mo on
Fishbase.org re the family. The species count is nearing four hundred... and
some species in the same and different genera appear quite similar>
Although tiny, he seems to be doing well. Any food that goes into the tank is
eaten. He's fairly bold, stays out in the open and doesn't dart away when I am
nearby. He's in the same tank as the Staghorn damsel as they came from the same
tank in the store and I got them only a few days apart.
So far neither fish has shown any aggression toward the other.
The Staghorn damsel was quite a surprise. He had been at the pet store for a
number of weeks as he looked kind of dorky and homely and no one would by him.
The juvenile form of A. curacao is not very graceful, to say the least, and at
the store he displayed a rather washed out, dull silver coloration.
<I believe I relate my personal endeavours in making the genus
Amblyglyphidodon popular in the hobby in a piece archived on WWM. Nice
animals, not widely used>
After several weeks at the store he was showing signs of being bullied by some
of the more aggressive damsels and since I have a weakness for damsels (and also
an unoccupied tank) I took him home. Imagine my surprise when the next day he
looked like a different fish! Nighttime coloration has bars like the adult fish,
daytime coloration is similar to a green Chromis.
Very pretty! I'm sure of the genus for this guy but may have to wait until he
matures to be certain of the species ID as there seems to be a lot of color
variation in this group.
<There are and have been a few "new/old" discoveries of "intra" species in
And, um, can I go ahead and ask you a "can you identify this damselfish"
question? There was a third damsel (at the same store no less) that I had never
seen before so of course that one came home too. That was quite a damsel
shipment they got in, three species I hadn't ever seen in a store!
Anyway, coloration on this fish is very very similar to a Talbot's damsel.
Same violet pink on the lower part, yellow on the upper, but it's not a
Talbot's. There are none of the small blue markings, there is no dorsal spot,
and the yellow area does not extend down over the face or pelvic fins.
<I'd have you look on Fishbase... starting with the family:
Then click on the blue/link at bottom left (Show species images); and do the
long scroll... If you'd like, starting w/ (in alphabetical order) the genus
Chrysiptera... Otherwise, PLEASE send along well-resolved pix>
There is a tiny tiny black dot just behind the gill covers. The fish is not as
deep-bodied as a Talbot's, and it moves more swiftly. I can't find a picture in
FishBase or anywhere else online, or in my "Damselfish of the World" and
"Damselfishes & Anemonefishes" books. Behavior is typical damsel, not really
aggressive but certainly not shy. Any clues on this one?
<... only a guess, but perhaps C. rex.... >
<Welcome. Bob Fenner>
FW: Banggai Damselfish Amblypomacentrus clarus P.S. - forgot to
mention, all of the other damsels at this store were
Indo-Pacific so the unidentified on should be from the same location.
<Ah yes; most species hale from this part of the world period, and most all used
in the trade in the West are Indo-Pac. BobF>