Scissortail Sergeant – Facts and Photographs

Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus) also known as the striptailed damselfish

The Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus) is also known as the Striptailed Damselfish and Six-banded Sergeant-major.  They are a relatively common fish on Tanzanian reefs.

 

APPEARANCE

The body has an oval shape with a sharpish nose. The base color of the body is silver with a blue tint towards the dorsal area.  Five vertical black lines run down the body with a darker patch on the upper side of the head. 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.They grow up to 17 cm in length but are usually not seen much larger than 12 to 14 cm.

Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus) also known as the striptailed damselfish

SCISSORTAIL SERGEANT IN THE WILD

They are fairly common fish on Tanzanian reefs. Usually they are seen in numbers on protected and semi protected 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 be there. On the deeper reefs they are often seen swimming several meters above the substrate.

Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus) also known as the striptailed damselfish

HABITAT

The Scissortail Sergeant is found across the Indo-Pacific area.  They are found mainly on semi protected reefs and occasionally on shallower less protected reefs.

Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus) also known as the striptailed damselfish

DIET

The Scissortail Sergeant feed predominantly on zooplankton.

Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus) also known as the striptailed damselfish

REPRODUCTION

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.

Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus)

AQUARIUMS

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.

Scissortail Sergeant (Abudefduf sexfasciatus)

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SCISSORTAIL SERGEANT CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacentridae
Genus: Abudefduf
Species:A. sexfasciatus

LITERATURE CITED

The Reef Guide Fishes, Coral, Nudibranch & other invertabrates:East and South Coasts of Southern Africa by Dennis King & Valda Fraser

EQUIPMENT USED

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