DAMSELFISH
POMACENTRIDAE
Cocoa Damselfish
Stegastes xanthurus
    Ecological Descriptors
Habitat Size (cm) Diet Behaviour Sex 
Co/ R 12 Veg (Spo, Ane, Pla) Ter F
NOTE:
Now considered a seperate species to S. variabilis, previously reported, which has a Brazilian distribution, rather than in Northern Caribbean

Description
:
Adult: Highly variable. Body greenish-grey to charcoal washing over yellowish undercolor - with paler belly and signs of
dark diagonal bands. Younger aduts may have dark spot to rear of dorsal fin (variable). Scattering of blue spots on head rarely extend onto body (cf Beaugregory, S. leucostictus)
Juveniles:  Large ocellus (black with blue border) on rear dorsal fin which does not extend onto body (cf Beaugregory, S. leucostictus). Dark spot at base of dorsal fin, which often disappears as the juvenile grows towards adulthood. Blue lines along snout overlying dark/ blueish upper body, with yellow lower body without (clean) spots extending onto yellow.

Ecology
Adults inhabit shelterd reff habitats. They feed mainly on benthic algae but also on sponges, ascidians and anemones, whilst juveniles feed on invertebrates like harpacticoid copepods and nemerteans. Often solitary. Juveniles are aggressively territorial. Aggressive when breeding.

Life Cycle:
Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding. Eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate. Males guard and aerate the eggs
Cocoa Damselfish
Cocoa Damselfish
Juvenile
13
Cocoa Damselfish
Juvenile
(C) Ross Robertson
Renaming:
Different to S. variabilis - see below