Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Stegastes leucorus, Whitetail damselfish

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dark brown, pale band on tail base
pectoral border: yellow
juvenile: dark, back & D green

Stegastes leucorus (Gilbert, 1892)

Whitetail Damselfish

Body oval, compressed; 1 pair of nostrils; margin of preopercle serrated; margin of bone under eye serrated, without notch it and the bone before it;mouth small, protrusible; teeth in single row, long and close-set; lower gill rakers 10-12; a single continuous dorsal fin, XII, 15-16 (rarely 14); anal rays II, 13 (rarely 12); pectoral rays 20-21 (rarely 22); adult males with dense covering of microscopic papilla on outer half of pectoral fin; no projecting short spines at upper and lower base of tail fin; caudal fin bluntly forked; 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 scales 20 (rarely 19, 21, 22); lateral line incomplete, ends under end of dorsal fin base.

Dark brown with darker scale outlines, often with white band on caudal peduncle; with a blue iris and white outer edge of pectoral fin. Juvenile dark with olive green nape, upper back and spiny dorsal, and a dark ocellus at rear base of dorsal fin; a broad white bar across tail base and base of tail fin.

Size: grows to 17 cm.

Habitat: common along rocky shores.

Depth: 0-18 m.

Southern California, Guadalupe Island and San Benito; the Revillagigedos Islands; locally common at the tip of Baja; recorded at Mazatlan,

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Bottom only
  • Reef only
  • Rocks
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Data
  • Omnivore
  • Data
  • Sessile worms
  • Benthic microalgae
  • Sessile crustacea
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
Egg Type
  • Benthic
  • Pelagic larva
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Continent
  • All species
  • Island (s)
  • TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Vulnerable
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 17
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 18