The Scaly chromis (Chromis lepidolepis) is also known as the Brown Chromis. They are extremely common fishes on the Tanzanian coast.
The body has an elongated oval shape with a pointed nose. The body is a greyish brown colour. There is a black line through the eye and the fins are tipped in black, except for the anal fin which usually has a black blotch on the bottom. They have a forked tail with black tips. The adults grow up to 8 cm in length.
SCALY CHROMIS IN THE WILD
Scaly chromis are very common on Tanzanian reefs. They are usually found around a raised bommie, coral feature or rock with good hiding places. They swim around their hiding spot in large shoals, darting upwards to catch zooplankton out the substrate. The shoals are often age dependent with fish of a particular size shoaling together alongside shoals of progressively younger fish. The larger fish tend to swim higher in the substrate than the smaller fish.
When a diver approaches the entire shoal moves into cover and quickly emerges once one backs away a bit. The adults which grow up to 8 cm are usually seen in groups on the reef top, but sometimes they are seen singularly.
The Scaly chromis is found across the Indian ocean from East Africa down to South Africa, across to New Caledonia and up to Southern Japan.
The Scaly chromis feed on zooplankton.
The Scaly Chromis 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.
Scaly Chromis are hardy fish and are easy to keep in an aquarium. However given that they are not that attractive they are seldom kept in aquariums. They will undoubtedly become highly territorial as adults. It is almost a certainty that they will harass and beat up more peaceful fish.
SCALY CHROMIS 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