The Indo-Pacific Sergeant (Abudefduf vaigiensis) is also known as the Five-banded Sergeant-major and in some areas simply as the Sergeant Major. They are a common fish on Tanzanian reefs particularly on the shallow reefs.
The body has an oval shape with a sharpish nose. The base color of the body is a blueish silver overlaid with yellow on most specimens mainly in the upper centre of the body, with a darker patch on the forehead. Five vertical black lines run down the body. The tail is heavily forked and black lines run along the upper and lower rays. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins have a blue tint to them. On some mature specimens the caudal fin is black. They grow up to 12 cm in length.
INDO-PACIFIC SERGEANT IN THE WILD
Indo-Pacific Sergeant’s are fairly common fish on Tanzanian reefs. Usually they are seen on the edges of seaward reefs to a depth of 12 to 18 meters and are most often seen in small loose groups near a feature on the reef. They are occasionally seen singularly particularly on the shallower reefs. They appear to be territorial and if one returns to the same spot they will usually be there. In Kwa-Zulu- Natal in South Africa the juveniles are commonly seen in rock pools.
The Indo-Pacific Sergeant is found across the Indo-Pacific area and in 1991 was discovered in Hawaii. They are found mainly on semi protected reefs and occasionally on shallower less protected reefs.
The Indo-Pacific Sergeant feed predominantly on algae and small benthic crustaceans.
Little if any research has been done on their mating habits, they have been observed to aggregate and group spawn on large tides. The eggs then drift out to sea and are distributed by the currents.
They are colorful 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. Most aquarists stay clear of these damsels and their close relatives for this reason.