This damselfish is appropriately named for its dark brown coloration, which may have a blueish tinge at the top of the body and fade to yellow at the bottom. The cocoa damselfish is found on coral reefs in the western Atlantic, where it feeds on algae, sponges and anemones. Juveniles, however, may feed on tiny invertebrates, such as copepods or worms.
  • Size

    4.9 inches (12.5 cm)
  • Diet

    Algae, sponges and anemones
  • Range

    Western Atlantic from Florida to Southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean
  • Habitat

    Inshore and offshore coral reefs

Physical Characteristics

Size

  • Grows to 4.9 inches (12.5 cm) in length.

Body Composition

  • Oblong body. Anal and dorsal fins feature spines and soft rays. Caudal fin is slightly forked. Dark spot on caudal peduncle and near pectoral fin.

Color

  • Coloration is dark brown or blue near the top, shading to yellow at the bottom.

 

Animal Fact

The cocoa damselfish forms distinct pairs when mating. The female lays eggs that stick to the ocean bottom. The male then guards and cares for the eggs until hatching.

Diet / Feeding

Diet

  • Diet consists mainly of algae, sponges and anemones.
  • Juveniles eat tiny invertebrates, such as copepods or worms.

 

Range / Habitat

Range

  • Occurs in the Western Atlantic from Florida to Southern Brazil, including the Gulf of Mexico and the Caribbean.

Habitat

  • Found among inshore and offshore coral reefs in depths of 0 – 98 feet (0 – 30 m).

Reproduction & Growth

Reproduction

  • An oviparous, or egg-laying, species.
  • Distinct pairing; aggressive during reproduction.
  • Female lays eggs that stick to substrate. Then, males guard and aerate eggs.
  • Increase in breeding during summer.

Conservation Status

  • “Not Evaluated” on the IUCN Red List.

Additional Information

  • Tends to be solitary.
  • Juveniles are territorial.

Sources

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