Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Stegastes planifrons, Threespot Damselfish

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

deep oval
yellow/tan; tail base & pectoral base - dark spot
juv: yellow + black spots: center D base & top tail base

Stegastes planifrons (Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830)

Threespot Damselfish

Body relatively deep, oval, 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; 8-9 lower gill rakers; a single continuous dorsal fin, XII, 15-17; anal fin II, 13-14; dorsal and anal fins long, extend past tail fin base, with large, rounded lobes; pectoral rays 18-20; no projecting short spines at upper and lower base of tail fin; caudal fin bluntly forked, lobes of tail large, 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 18-20.

Adult: entirely grey-brown, with tan tint to lower head and body; a black spot on the base of the pectoral fin and, sometimes, another on tail base; top of eye yellowish. Juvenile: body and fins bright yellow; a large black spot on base of dorsal fin at end of spines; a smaller black spot on upper base of tail.

Size: reaches 12.5 cm.

Shallow reefs.

Depth: 0-43 m.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Corallivore
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Soft corals/hydroids
  • Sponges/seasquirts/bryozoa
  • Zooplankton
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Hard corals
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Phytoplankton
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Data
  • No pelagic phase
  • 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
  • 12.5
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 43