Distinctive Characters - Dorsal spines (total): 10 - 12; Dorsal soft rays (total): 19-22; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 13. This species is distinguished by the following characters: D X-XII,19-22 (rarely X); A III,13; dorsal and anal fins scaly; pectoral rays 22-24; two postmaxillary processes; small conical teeth in jaws; scales on lateral line 69-76 (usually 71), above to dorsal-fin origin 7-8, below to anal-fin origin 14-17; predorsal scales 24-32; greatest body depth 3.3-5.4 in SL; head length 3.4-3.9 in SL; lateral line covered for most of its length by a black stripe about 1 scale wide (on caudal peduncle this stripe is above lateral line); a brilliant light blue zone below black stripe, usually covering middle third of body, but sometimes restricted to anterior part of body, and sometimes absent; lower third of body white to pinkish (or reddish); pectoral, pelvic, and anal fins white to pinkish; axil and upper base of pectoral fins black; dorsal fin light bluish green to pinkish; caudal fin with a black streak within each lobe, the upper streak continuous with lateral stripe
Dark-banded fusilier's Behavior & Ecology
Inhabits coastal waters and coral and rocky reef. A schooling fish, sometimes in groups with other fusiliers.
Dark-banded fusilier's Feeding
Feeds on zooplankton in midwater aggregations.
Dark-banded fusilier's Reproduction
Oviparous, with numerous, small pelagic eggs.
Dark-banded fusilier's Relationship with Humans
Dark-banded fusilier (Pterocaesio tile) is one of the most common of the fusiliers in the Maldives. Juveniles are often used as live bait by tuna fishermen. Larger neon-blue-striped individuals form gleaming schools on the reefs, which are a greater attraction for divers.
Dark-banded fusilier habitat
Pterocaesio tile ranges widely around coral reefs and juveniles occur occasionally in large numbers in shallow lagoons and on reef flats (Lieske and Myers 1994). This species feeds on plankton in mid-water aggregations (Carpenter 1987). Pterocaesio tile is a schooling fish and is sometimes seen in groups with other caesionids (Carpenter 2001). The maximum recorded size for this species is 30 cm TL (Carpenter 1988).