Genus Pomacentrus


Pomacentrus Lacepède, 1802, with almost 60 species, is the second largest genus in the family Pomacentridae. Species inhabit coral reefs throughout the Indo-west-central Pacific. The genus is particularly diverse in the Indo-Australian Archipelago, with 50 species known to occur in this region (Allen & Erdmann 2009), and 26 species found in Australia.

Species range in colour from brown, grey, yellow to blue, and juveniles usually have an ocellus on the soft-rayed part of the dorsal fin. Max size is about 80-90 mm SL.

Meristic features: Dorsal fin XIII or XIV, 12–16; Anal fin II, 12–16; Pectoral fin 16–19; tubed lateral-line scales 13–19; Gill rakers (total first arch) 17–30.

Margin of suborbital usually serrate, rarely smooth; margin of preopercle usually with distinct serrations (although weak in several species); notch usually present between preorbital and suborbital bones; preorbital scaleless except scaled posteriorly in a few species; teeth in two rows at front of jaws; maximum body depth 1.8–2.5 in SL. (Allen & Erdmann 2009).

Author: Dianne J. Bray

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Pomacentrus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 May 2023,


Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Melle, Germany : Mergus Verlag 271 pp.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G. R. 2001. Family Pomacentridae. pp. in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Allen, G.R., Cross, N.J. & Allen, C.J. 2006. Pomacentridae. pp. 1439-1471 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3 2178 pp.

Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann. 2009. A new species of damselfish (Pomacentrus: Pomacentridae) from western New Guinea. Records of the Western Australian Museum 25(2): 121-126.

Lacepède, B.G. 1802. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 4 728 pp. 16 pls.