Tiger Damselfish – Facts and Photographs

Tiger Damselfish (Chrysiptera annulata) also known as the Footballer demoiselle

The Tiger Damselfish (Chrysiptera annulata) is also known as the Footballer demoiselle.  They are common fish in the shallows a on Tanzanian reefs particularly on the shallow reefs with closely associated beds of sea grass.

APPEARANCE

The body has an oval shape with a sharpish nose. The base color of the body is a whitish silver color.  Five vertical black lines run down the body and there is a further stripe between the eyes across the mouth downwards onto the first vertical stripe. There are a series of small blue dots on the stripe that runs through the eye.

The dorsal fin has yellow in the mid section and the pelvic fins are black hence the name Footballer Demoiselle being a reference to football boots. These features distinguish them easily from the similar colored Cloudy dascyllus.  The dorsal, anal and pectoral fins have a yellow tint to them. The largest specimen we have seen has been around 4 cm in length.

Tiger Damselfish (Chrysiptera annulata) also known as the Footballer demoiselle

TIGER DAMSELFISH IN THE WILD

Tiger Damselfish are usually seen singularly on beds of sea grass interspersed with reef and rubble. They appear to be territorial and if one returns to the same spot they will usually be there.  They seem to prefer a small feature or overhang to hide under. We have never seen them in pairs and have only seen them singular.

HABITAT

The Tiger Damselfish is found only in the Western Indian Ocean from the Red Sea south to Durban and across to Madagascar, Mauritius , Reunion and Aldabra.  They are usually in the tidal shallows in Tanzania to a depth of half a meter on a low tide. We have not seen them deeper than three meters.

Tiger Damselfish (Chrysiptera annulata) also known as the Footballer demoiselle

DIET

The Tiger Damselfish seem from obseration to feed on algae and small benthic crustaceans.

Tiger Damselfish (Chrysiptera annulata) also known as the Footballer demoiselle

REPRODUCTION

Distinct pairing takes place during breeding and the eggs adhere to the substrate and are guarded  by the males.

Tiger Damselfish (Chrysiptera annulata) also known as the Footballer demoiselle

AQUARIUMS

They are colorful hardy fish and would be easy to keep in an aquarium. However they would undoubtedly become territorial but to what extent is hard to say. Most aquarists stay clear of these damsels and their close relatives for this reason. However there is an interesting post here which suggests that they are not as territorial as other damselfish.

SEE OUR OTHER POSTS ON DAMSELFISH

TIGER DAMSELFISH CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom:Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacentridae
Subfamily:Pomacentrinae
Genus: Chrysiptera
Species:  C. annulata

LITERATURE CITED

https://www.researchgate.net/publication/299494656_Trophic_ecology_of_the_seagrass-inhabiting_footballer_demoiselle_Chrysiptera_annulata_Peters_1855_comparison_with_three_other_reef-associated_damselfishes

https://www.fishbase.de/summary/Chrysiptera-annulata

EQUIPMENT USED

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