Common Name:Yellowtail Damselfish
Latin Name: Chrysiptera parasema

Range Abundance:
30°N - 13°S in reef environments. Found in warmer waters. Typically Western Pacific. Relatively abundant on populated reefs.

Coloration and Morphology:
C. parasema have two distinct life stages. In its juvenile stage, a Chrysiptera parasemais light blue with dark blue spots about the size of a pencil eraser. Adults are dark blue with yellow tails. Three distinct stripes of a darker blue are often noticeable on the adult’s face. Maximum three inches length.

Reproductive cycle:
Dioecius with external fertilization. Yellowtail damselfish are oviparous. They form distinct pairs during the breeding season. The female lays eggs on the substrate while the male aerates and guards the eggs.

C.parasema prefer a reef environment at depths up to 10 m. The fish prefer to nest and be protected by the branching corals. They compete often with D. melanurus for space, as both have similar microhabitats.

Yellowtailed Damselfish have been seen in groups but prefer to forage for food alone. The fish is semi-aggressive, often conspecifically. These fish are extremely popular with aquariums, as their bright colors and tendency to remain close to the top of the reef allow easy observation of these specimens.

Omnivorious. C. parasema has been observed eating invertebrates, algae, zooplankton, and plant material.

Personal Experience:
The juveniles are exceptionally beautiful. I was initially captivated by their bright blue spots while snorkeling on the Coral Reef. The adults look completely different from the juveniles. I eventually saw about 5 individuals during my time on the reef.

Breder, C.M. and D.E. Rosen 1966 Modes of reproduction in fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Neptune City, New Jersey. 941 p.
M. C. Bonin, M. Srinivasan, G. R. Almany and G. P. Jones (2009) Interactive Effects of interspecific interaction and microhabitat on early post-settlement survival in a coral reef fish