sapphire damselfish Pomacentrus pavo
Sapphire damselfish Pomacentrus pavo

Sapphire Damselfish – Facts and Photographs

sapphire damselfish Pomacentrus pavo

The sapphire damselfish Pomacentrus pavo, is also  known as the  peacock damselfish or blue damselfish. They are a colorful fish that is common on the East African coast. Often confused with the more common green damsel, Chromis viridis, they are actually quite easy to differentiate. The green damselfish has a markedly forked tail whereas the sapphire damselfish does not.

sapphire damselfish Pomacentrus pavo, is also known as the peacock damselfish or blue damselfish.


The base color is a blue green color, with blue striations vertically down the body and horizontally across the face. The fins are lined with a light blue stripe and the anal fin has a more marked darker blue stripe. Mature specimens usually have a dark blue or black dot behind the gill.

sapphire damselfish Pomacentrus pavo


The sapphire damselfish are often found in or around Acropora corals in shoals of up to 30. They are quick to dart into the coral for protection and make a colorful sight as they dart in and out of the coral in unison. They are highly territorial and will always be found in the same area.

sapphire damselfish Pomacentrus pavo, is also known as the peacock damselfish or blue damselfish.


The sapphire damselfish is found across the Indian ocean from East Africa across to Lord Howe Island and north to Taiwan. Usually they are found in the shallower sections of the reef and in Tanzania are seldom if ever seen deeper than 12 meters.

Pomacentrus pavo 3


The sapphire damselfish feed on zooplankton and algae.


Pairing before mating has been noted and the eggs are demersal and adhere to the substrate. The males guard and aerate the eggs until they hatch.

Pomacentrus pavo 2


Sapphire damselfish have a highly territorial nature and refuse to allow other fish in their territory. Because of this territorial nature they are seldom if ever seen in aquariums.


Pomacentrus pavo 1


Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum:   Chordata
Class:       Actinopterygii
Order:      Perciformes
Family:    Pomacentridae
Genus:     Pomacentrus
Species:   P. pavo