The yellowtail damselfish (Microspathodon chrysurus), also known as the jewel damselfish or turquoise-spotted demoiselle, is a damselfish from the Western Atlantic. It occasionally makes its way into the aquarium trade, where it is known as the marine jewelfish (not to be confused with the freshwater cichlid, known as the jewelfish) . It grows to a size of 21 cm in length. When juvenile it has brilliant (metallic) blue spots on a dark blue back ground. It is probably the most aggressive of all damselfish, and should be kept with fish substantially larger and more robust than itself.
This is a common species of coral reefs where the juveniles are normally found among branches of yellow stinging coral in the genus Millepora. The adults occur in very shallow water over coral reefs, preferring the top of the outer edge where there are caves, holes, and plenty of fire coral. Their diet maonly consists of algae but they will also feed on the polyps of fire coral and other invertebrates. The juveniles have been recorded picking parasites off other fish species. This species is oviparous and they form distinct pairs when breeding. Their eggs are demersal, adhere to the substrate where the males guard and aerate them.
Microspathodon chrysurus is found in the western Atlantic Ocean as far north as northeastern Florida and Bermuda south through the Gulf of Mexico and Caribbean Sea, to the coasts of Brazil from Manuel Luis Reefs to Abrolhos including Trinidade Island.
- Rocha, L.A. & Myers, R. (2015). "Microspathodon chrysurus". The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. 2015: e.T188617A1902927. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
- Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2018). "Microspathodon chrysurus" in FishBase. June 2018 version.
- "Jewel damselfish". liveaquaria.com. Retrieved 7 October 2018.
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