The Damselfish are quite lively and colorful and they are common in the tropical seas. They are found in the shallow water of tropical and semitropical seas, like diving around the Gili Islands and at the divesites Halik (North Gili Trawangan), Hans reef (North Gili Air) and Bounty Wreck (South West Gili Meno). They are small and aggressive. They love the coral reefs, mangroves and sea grass. They feed on zooplankton and algae. When they are in courtship, they make purring and clicking noises. The juveniles are different in color than the mature adults. Some juveniles may be red with blue spots. The mature ones are orange-yellow. They can display a ferocious behavior when they feel threatened. Some like to live in open water and swim in schools. These fish are beautiful as the display their bright colors.
Many of the Damselfish grow to a length of 7 cm. They become mature in two to five years. Some species may take much longer to mature. Their spawning season begins in spring and ends in the summer. There are a few different species and some species swim in large schools.
There are about 235 species of Damselfish, and that includes about 26 species of Clownfish. Habitat destruction and the destruction of the coral reefs may soon show declining populations.
The young Blue Damselfish can live together in peace, but they become very aggressive as they mature. They like to stay very close to the coral reef.
The Black and White Damselfish are also called Humbug fish. The Yellowtail Damselfish often lose their beautiful bright colors when they are captured. Some species of Damselfish can only be found in the Caribbean. Some species only live on the bottom of the sea and they defend their territory of about 16 feet. This territory covers feedinmg, spawning and shelter sites. The Damselfish ignores bass and groupers because they are much less competitive. It is the male that prepares for spawning by clearing a surafce of coral or rocky ledge. The female can lay up to about 20,000 oval eggs that are really tiny. The males guards these eggs with his fins. It takes the eggs about three to seven days to hatch.
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