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Family Pomacentridae - Damselfishes

Neopomacentrus bankieri - Chinese Demoiselle

An adult Chinese Demoiselle.

 

A school of Chinese Demoiselles foraging midwater.

 

A school of newly settled juveniles aggregating near Sargassum weed on top of a coral bommie.

 

A high density feeding aggregation of Chinese Demoiselles over the large Psammocora digitata bommie, outer Florence Bay.

Distinguishing features

A small blue-grey fish with yellow on the rear dorsal fin and a yellow tail. Usually seen schooling above corals, often with smaller numbers of the closely related Yellowtail Demoiselle (N. azysron). The latter is distinguishable by its larger size and more elongate body, and the contiguous yellow which connects the rear of the dorsal fin with the tail - in N. bankieri these two yellow patches are not contiguous. Maximum size about 7cm.

Locations

Found in all bays of the island.

Habitat Preferences

Reef flats with some coral cover, reef crests and slopes, rocky shorelines. Large schools tend to aggregate near heads of massive coral or other underwater structures.

Biology & Ecology

The Chinese demoiselle is the most common plantkton feeding damselfish around Magneic Island, and can be seen in schools of several hundreds throughout coral rich areas in all the major bays. The Chinese demoiselle is the more common species of Neopomacentrus on inshore reefs like Magnetic Island, outnumbering the Yellowtail demoiselle by about 3 to 1, however on the midshelf reefs the Chinese demoiselle is virtually absent and the Yellowtail demoiselle is extremely abundant. During the summer months large schools of juvenile fishes recruit in high numbers, usually just adjacent to the adult schools. These two species are heavily preyed upon by Serranids such as the Coral Trout and Spotted Rock cod.

Papers and articles

Webster, MS. 2002. Role of predators in the early post-settlement demography of coral-reef fishes. Oecologia (2002) 131:52–60 .

 

 


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