Whitetailed damselfish

Dascyllus aruanus
Demoiselle à queue blanche
‘Atoti (Society)

Interesting facts

One finds the damselfish with three black bands between 0.5 m and 20 m deep, particularly in the lagoons or even the reef-flat shallows. It finds refuge in dead or living gill coral (e.g. Pocillopora damicornis, Acropora cuneata, A. pulchra, A. surculosa, A. hebes, etc.) for hiding or spending the night. Omnivorous, it feeds on plankton, debris coming from plants, as well as small fish, fish eggs, and small invertebrates. It is a sedentary fish linked to a colony. The hierarchical colonies are comprised of two to forty individuals; though a dozen fish are usually observed due to the relative smallness of the branche coral that hosts them. Intra and inter-group relationships are the subject of behavioral studies. It would seem that they are polygynous harems headed by a large male.


P. Bacchet, T. Zysman, Y. Lefèvre, 2010. Guide des poissons de Tahiti et ses îles. Au vent des îles. 3e édition. http://doris.ffessm.fr/Especes/Dascyllus-aruanus-Demoiselle-a-trois-bandes-noires-1111