The Blacktail Chromis (Chromis nigrura) is very common on the reefs of Tanzania. They are usually seen in small groups of between ten to fifteen fish, but occasionally groups of twenty to thirty are seen.
The body has an elongated oval shape with a round nose. The upper body is a blue green colour and this fades into yellow on the lower body. A series of six blue to dark blue dotted lines run along the body. The caudal fin is yellow and forked with black edges on the tail, giving the fish its name. They grow up to 6 cm in length.
BLACKTAIL CHROMIS IN THE WILD
Blacktail Chromis are a very common fish on Tanzanian reefs. They are found from 3 meters to 30 meters, usually around a raised bommie, coral feature or rock with good hiding places. They swim around their hiding spot, darting upwards to catch zooplankton. When a diver approaches the entire shoal moves into cover and quickly emerges once one backs away a bit.
The Blacktail Chromis is found across the Indian ocean from East Africa down to South Africa across to Sri Lanka and Christmas Island.
The Blacktail Chromis feed on zooplankton.
Little if any research has been done on their mating habits, but they probably follow the normal Damselfish behavior. Pairing before mating is usual and after the male cleans a patch for the eggs, mating takes place. The eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate. The males guard and aerate the eggs until they hatch.
They are hardy fish and would be easy to keep in an aquarium. However they would undoubtedly become highly territorial. It is almost a certainty that they will harass and beat up more peaceful fish.
SEE OUR OTHER POSTS ON DAMSELFISH
FALSE-EYE DAMSELFISH CLASSIFICATION
- The Reef Guide fishes, corals, nudibranchs & other invertebrates: East and South Coasts of Southern Africa by Dennis King & Valda Fraser
- Trophic niches of thirteen damselfishes (Pomacentridae)
at the Grand Re´cif of Toliara, MadagascarBruno Frederich,Gregory Fabri, Gilles Lepoint, Pierre Vandewalle and Eric Parmentier