General Description

Body deep, robust with a single long-based dorsal fin, a small mouth, large body scales and a scaly sheath over bases of dorsal and anal fins. Colour variable, large adults dark greyish to black, or rusty-coloured with a dusky head and pale spots along lateral; juveniles bright orange with neon-blue lines, spots and a black ocellus (false eye-spot) on rear of dorsal fin. Usually 15 cm long head to tail tip (up to 19 cm).


Like many damselfishes, the juveniles are brilliantly coloured with an ocellus or "false eye spot" on the dorsal fin. They inhabit rocky reefs in bays and estuaries, and are often seen in tide pools. Males and females are very territorial and pairs defend plots of benthic algae on which they feed. During the breeding season, the males fiercely guard their nesting sites on rock faces and boulders.


Southern Australia.


Shallow rocky reefs.

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