Species Details

Details of Whitetail dascyllus will be displayed below

Whitetail dascyllu...   

Common Name: Humbug damselfish, Banded humbug, Three stripe damselfish
Scientific Name: Dascyllus aruanus
Local Name: Muraka mas
Dhivehi Name: މުރަކަމަސް
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Teleostei  (Class)
Perciformes  (Order)
Pomacentridae  (Family)
Dascyllus   (Genus)

Whitetail dascyllus's description

Whitetail dascyllus (Dascyllus aruanus), is a species of marine fish in the family Pomacentridae.

Distinctive Characters - Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 11-13 rays. Anal fin with 2 spines and 11-13 rays. Pectoral rays 17-19. Body depth 1.5-1.7 in standard length. Suborbital bones scaled and finely serrate. Preopercular margin finely serrate. Pectoral fin slightly shorter than head.

Colour - White with three broad black bars. The first diagonal bar from nape and upper head through eye to chin. Caudal fin pale.

Max length : 10.0 cm TL male/unsexed.

Common length : 6.0 cm TL male/unsexed.

Max. reported age: 6 years.

Whitetail dascyllus's Behavior & Ecology

Whitetail dascyllus is widespread throughout the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region, Red Sea included and Indian Ocean.

Territorial, inhabit shallow lagoon and subtidal reef flats. Form large aggregations above staghorn Acropora thickets or in smaller groups above isolated coral heads.

Whitetail dascyllus's Feeding

Feed on zooplankton, benthic invertebrates, and algae. 

Whitetail dascyllus's Reproduction

Male selects and protects the nest; does the courtship `dance' about 1 m above the nest and escorts the attracted female to the nest site where spawning ensues. Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding. Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate.

Whitetail dascyllus habitat

This species inhabits shallow lagoons and subtidal coral reef flats (Allen and Erdmann 2012, Fricke et al. 2019). It has a close association with branching corals (i.e., species in the genera Acropora, Pocillopora, and Stylophora: Frédérich and Sheets 2010). It is found in small to large aggregations (Allen and Erdmann 2012). This species is known to prey upon the Crown-of-Thorns Seastar (Acanthaster planci; Cowan et al. 2016).

It is a protogynous hermaphrodite and demersal spawner (Parmentier et al. 2009, Choi et al. 2014). Spawning is synchronized with a semi-lunar cycle (Choi et al. 2014). Males will prepare nest sites by removing debris from the substrate and will guard the nest from other fishes. Males will also perform courtship displays by signal jumping and sound production to attract females (Parmentier et al. 2009). The maximum longevity has been reported at 6 years (Bouhlel 1988). The maximum length is 10 cm (Allen 1986).

Whitetail dascyllus threats

Though there have been significant coral declines in its distribution, this species is not an obligate coral dweller, preferring high relief habitat.

Whitetail dascyllus's status