Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Stegastes adustus, Dusky Damselfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

oval, robust; D & A short, blunt
uniform grey-brown
juv: grey, red cap + blue spots, ocellus center D

Stegastes adustus (Troschel, 1865)

Dusky Damselfish

Body oval, robust, compressed; 1 pair of nostrils; margin of preopercle serrated; margin of bone under eye serrated, without notch between it and the bone before it; mouth small, protrusible, opens at front; teeth in single row, long and close-set incisors; 9-10 lower gill rakers; a single continuous dorsal fin, XII, 14-17; anal fin II, 13-15; dorsal and anal fins short and blunt, not reaching past base of tail fin; pectoral rays 20-22; no projecting short spines at upper and lower base of tail fin; caudal fin bluntly forked, lobes bluntly rounded; scales are moderately large and rough; body scaled, head largely scaled (snout scaled to nostrils), as are the basal parts of the median fins; lateral line incomplete, ends under end of dorsal fin base; lateral-line scales 18-21.

Adult: Body and fins uniform grey brown. Juvenile: head, body and fins grey-brown, except for a red-brown cap on nape, upper edge of body and spiny dorsal; spotted blue lines on head and upper front body; a large black, blue-ringed ocellus on lower part of dorsal fin and upper body at level of end of dorsal spines; a small black spot, bordered by blue on upper tail base.

Size: reaches 10.5 cm.

Occurs on shallow reefs, especially in high-energy outer edges.

Depth: about 0-30 m, usually < 5 m.

North Carolina to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Detritivore
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Benthic macroalgae/seagrasses
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Detritus
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • GC endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 10.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 30