Ambon Damsel, scientifically known as Pomacentrus amboinensis, is a type of damselfish found in the Western Pacific. Sometimes, it appears in aquariums.
This fish lives in small groups with one adult male guarding a nest on the ocean floor and several females nearby.
The females don’t move around much once they settle down. New young fish can join these groups easily.
Ambon Damsels have color vision, which was discovered through experiments that controlled brightness levels.
This is the first known example of color discrimination in reef fish.
Ambon Damsels are commonly found in lagoons, coastal reefs, passages, and outer reef slopes near sandy areas with coral or rock outcrops for shelter.
Their diet mainly consists of algae but also includes zooplankton. They have been successfully raised in captivity before and are reef safe for aquariums.
Ambon Damsel Interesting Facts
- Ambon Damsels change gender from female to male as they mature.
- These fish possess color vision and are the first known example of color discrimination in reef fish.
- They thrive in warm waters at depths of 2 to 40 meters and have an oceanodromous lifestyle, not migrating long distances.
- Males guard and aerate eggs during breeding, which stick to underwater surfaces like rocks or plants.
Ambon Damsel Habitat
Ambon Damsel is a tropical fish found in the Western Pacific Ocean.
Its habitat ranges from Indonesia to Vanuatu, and it’s also found north in the Ryukyu Islands and south at Scott Reef (located in the eastern Indian Ocean) and New Caledonia.
It has been recently spotted in Tonga as well. Ambon Damsel lives in marine environments, specifically around coral reefs.
It has an oceanodromous lifestyle, meaning it moves within ocean currents but doesn’t migrate long distances.
It typically lives at depths of 2 to 40 meters (6 to 131 feet) and thrives in warm waters with a latitude range of 30°N to 25°S.
Ambon Damsel Physical Characteristics
Size: 3.5 inches (9.0 centimeters)
Ambon Damsel grows up to 3.5 inches (9.0 centimeters) long. This fish has 13 dorsal spines, 14 to 16 dorsal soft rays, 2 anal spines, and 14 to 16 anal soft rays.
The body color varies from light tan or lavender-yellow to dark chocolate brown. An eye-like spot (ocellus) is found on most individuals except for the largest adults.
The body depth measures about twice the standard length of the fish. As this fish grows older and matures, it loses an “eyespot” on its dorsal fin.
Ambon Damsel Reproduction
Ambon Damsel starts as a female and can change into a male later on. Some males keep looking like young ones to sneak into other groups with dominant males.
This fish lays eggs that stick to surfaces underwater, like rocks or plants.
Male Ambon Damsels protect the eggs and help supply them with oxygen by fanning water over them.