Dusky damselfish. Source: Florent Charpin/www.reefguide.org
Kingdom: Animalia (Animals)
Adult dusky damselfish are small (7.5 to 15.0 centimeters) oval fishes with dark coloration and rounded tails and dorsal fins. Juveniles are dark colored with a flash of bright orange from the head to the midpoint of their dorsal fin.
Dusky damselfish are herbivores that feed on algae growing in their territories.
Spawning occurs year round and females may spawn several times each month. At dawn, females go to nest sites inside a male’s territory where she will lay her eggs. A single nest may contain up to four clutches of eggs that are cared for and defended by the male. Eggs hatch at sunset four days later and the larvae enter the pelagic stage where they remain for about three weeks.
Yellowtail damselfish commonly live in stands of elkbhorn coral along with dusky damselfish. Because yellowtail damselfish are so much larger, dusky damselfish usually come out on the losing end of competitive interactions between these two species.
This species is not considered to be a species at risk.
References and Further Reading
- Encyclopedia of Life. 2011. Stegastes adustus (Troschel, 1865)
- Dusky damselfish Stegastes adustus http://www.dosits.org/gallery/fishnbay/12.htm
- P.Humann and N.Deloach (Editors), 1994. Reef Fish Identification: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348078
- N.Deloach. 1999. Reef Fish Behavior, Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. New World Publications, Inc. Jacksonville, FL. ISBN: 1878348280