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Related FAQs: Pomacentrus, Damsel Identification, Damsel Selection, Damsel Compatibility, Damsel Feeding, Damsel DiseaseDamsel Reproduction

Related Articles: The family Pomacentridae, the Damselfishes

/A Diversity of Aquatic Life

 Genus Pomacentrus Damselfishes

By Bob Fenner

   A Pomacentrus sulfureus in Bunaken/Sulawesi/Indonesia

Pomacentrus Species of Interest To Aquarists:

The fifty six described species of this Damsel genus contain many peaceful aquarium possibilities.

Pomacentrus albicaudatus Burgess 1981, Whitefin Damselfish. Western Indian Ocean: Red Sea. To 6 cm. Red Sea photo. 

Pomacentrus alexanderae Evermann & Seale 1907, Whitefin Damselfish. Indo-West Pacific; Malay Archipelago to Moluccas, north to Ryukyus. To 9 cm. N. Sulawesi pic. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/
speciesSummary.php?ID=6920&genusname=
Pomacentrus&speciesname=alexanderae

Pomacentrus alleni Burgess 1981, Allen's or Andaman Damselfish. Andaman Sea, the Similans off of Thailand. A hardy beauty that grows to a maximum of two inches and does well living solitarily. This one in a reef aquarium by itself. The black lower margin of the caudal is definitive.

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Pomacentrus aquilus Allen & Randall 1980, the Somber or Dark Damselfish. Western Indian Ocean: Red Sea and the Persian Gulf, south to Madagascar and the east African coast at least as far south as Kenya. To 12 cm. in length. Largish, but easily detected as it slinks between rocky cover. An adult one in the Red Sea. 

Pomacentrus auriventris Allen 1991, the Yellow-belly or Goldbelly Damsel. Indo-Malay Peninsula, Caroline Islands. To 5.5 cm. Found near bottom, principally about rubble slopes. N. Sulawesi pix. 

Bigger PIX: The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Pomacentrus bankanensis Bleeker 1853, the Speckled Damsel. Western Pacific; Christmas Island to Fiji, North to S. Japan, S. to Noumea. To 9 cm. Lives amongst bottom rubble, feeds on algae, copepods, isopods, pelagic tunicates. Juvenile in Raja Ampat, adult in N. Sulawesi. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=5717&genusname=Pomacentrus&speciesname=bankanensis

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Pomacentrus brachialis Cuvier 1830, Charcoal Damsel. To 8 cm. Western Pacific; this one in S. Sulawesi. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=5718&genusname=Pomacentrus&speciesname=brachialis

Pomacentrus caeruleus Quoy & Gaimard 1825, the Caerulean Damsel. Western Indian Ocean, eastern Africa to the Maldives. To four inches maximum. A Damselfish beauty that deserves to be imported much more frequently. This one in the Maldives.

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Pomacentrus chrysurus Cuvier 1830, the Whitetail Damsel. Indo-west Pacific. To about three inches in length. A better looking individual, with a broad yellow dorsal band and ocellus, the adults (pictured) are overall slate colored with a white tail. Maldives image.

Pomacentrus coelestis Jordan & Starks 1901, one of the Neon Damsels. To three and a half inches in length. Widespread in the Indo-Pacific, and a common import. This is a feisty damselfish species, best kept as the only Damsel type in a tank, and allowing a good fifteen gallons plus per specimen. An alpha male in the Cooks, one in Fiji.

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Pomacentrus indicus Allen 1991, the Indian Damsel. Western Indian Ocean. A rare import, though a beauty when young. To three inches in length. Juvenile and adult in Maldives pictured.

Pomacentrus lepidogenys Fowler & Bean 1928, the Scaly Damsel. Indo-Western Pacific; Malay Archipelago to Melanesia, Tonga to S. Japan. To 9 cm. N. Sulawesi pic.  http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/
Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=6620&genusname=
Pomacentrus&speciesname=lepidogenys

Pomacentrus moluccensis (Bleeker 1853), the Lemon Damsel. Eastern Indian and western Pacific Oceans. To two inches in length. This little beauty is occasionally imported from Fiji (where the first picture was taken), Tonga and Vanuatu. Second image, Heron Island, Australia. Third, N. Sulawesi. 

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Pomacentrus nigromanus Weber 1913, the Goldback Damsel. Western Central Pacific. To 9 cm. This one in S. Sulawesi.

Pomacentrus pavo (Bloch 1787), the Sapphire or Peacock Damsel. Indo-Pacific. To three inches in length. A hardy beauty for peaceful all-fish as well as reef tanks. Can be kept singly. This one photographed in the Maldives.

Pomacentrus philippinus (Evermann & Seale 1907), the Philippine Damsel. Western Pacific and eastern Indian Oceans. Variable in amount of yellow coloring by vicinity. To three inches in length. One in the Maldives where only their tails are yellow, and another in Mabul, Malaysia.

Pomacentrus reidi Fowler & Bean 1928, Reid's Damsel. Indo-Australian; Philippines, Celebes, Australia, Solomon's. To 9 cm. Found on steep, outer reef slopes, typically solitarily. N. Sulawesi pix.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available
Pomacentrus sulfureus Klunzinger 1871, the Sulphur Damsel. Western Indian Ocean, including the Red Sea. To three inches overall length. This fish has become a steady offering in the pet trade. It's a gorgeous golden yellow overall as an adult and only slightly less so as juveniles. This one in Bunaken, Indonesia.

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Pomacentrus vaiuli Jordan & Seale 1906, the Ocellated Damselfish. Western Pacific to Eastern Indian Ocean. To four inches in length, and as territorial as the genus comes... hangs out on its patch of Acroporid coral in the wild, and best kept this way with plenty of room (at least twenty gallons to each) in captivity. Juveniles in the Cooks and N. Sulawesi shown (bottom one a half inch long), and one mid-age in Fiji. Color variable, some with a yellowish dorsal region grading to blue.
Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)

Bibliography/Further Reading:

Allen, Gerald R. 1975. Damselfishes of the South Seas. TFH Publications, Neptune City, N.J.

Allen, Gerald R. 1976. How many sergeant majors? Marine Aquarist 7(6):76.

Allen, Gerald R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Aquarium Systems, Mentor, Ohio.

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 1978. The Biology of the Damselfishes a symposium held during the 56th annual meeting of the ASIH. Rosentiel School of Mar. & Atm. Sci. U. of Miami, 1980, 145-328.

Burgess, Warren E. 1981. Pomacentrus alleni and Pomacentrus thiellei, two new species of Pomacentrids (Pisces: Pomacentridae) from the Indo-Pacific. TFH 11/81.

Emmens, C.W. 1984. Damselfishes. TFH 9/84.

Fenner, Robert. 1998. The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Microcosm, VT. 432pp.

Fenner, Robert. 1999. The indomitable damsels- Family Pomacentridae. TFH 1/99.

Gronell, A.M., 1984. Look-alike damsels. TFH 32(8) 48-53.

Howe, Jeffrey C. 1995. Original descriptions: Colombo damsel Pomacentrus proteus Allen, 1991. FAMA 8/95.


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