Deepsea Puller, Chromis abyssicola Allen & Randall 1985

Other Names: Deepsea Chromis, Deepsea Damselfish

A Deepsea Puller, Chromis abyssicola, at Serpent Rock, Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand - depth 63 m. Source: Ian Skipworth / License: All rights reserved

A pale bluish-grey Chromis with broad dusky grey scale margins, a silvery-white line from the tip of the snout curving under the eye, two to three large white blotches along the back, and a prominent blackish area covering most of the pectoral fin axil (behind the pectoral-fin base) that extends just above the base. The Deepsea Puller has a greyish dorsal fin with a slightly yellowish rear, a yellow caudal fin with a broad dusky grey margin, a pale grey anal fin with the outer third blackish, and whitish pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Chromis abyssicola in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Apr 2024,

Deepsea Puller, Chromis abyssicola Allen & Randall 1985

More Info


Off Warana, Queensland, to the Solitary Islands, New South Wales; also the Lord Howe Rise and the Norfolk Ridge in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in northern New Zealand, including the Kermadec Ridge. 
Inhabits deep offshore reefs.


Dorsal fin XIII, 13-14; Anal fin II, 11-12; Pectoral fin 19-20; Procurrent caudal fin spines 2/2; Caudal fin (branched rays) 13; Gill rakers on first branchial arch 8-10 + 21-22 = 29-32; Vertical scale rows 28 or less; Scales above lateral-line to base of middle dorsal spines 1.5; Scales below lateral-line to anus 10.
Body moderately deep for the genus, depth 2.0-2.1 in SL, and compressed, width 2.4-2.7 in depth; head length 3.0-3.3 in SL; snout 3.3-3.7 in HL; eye 2.2-2.9 in HL; interorbital space convex, bony width slightly less than eye diameter; least depth of caudal peduncle 2.3-2.7 in HL; length of caudal peduncle 2.1-3.0 in HL.


Pale bluish-grey overall with broad dusky grey scale margins; prominent blackish area covering most of pectoral fin axil and extending for short distance (about half eye diameter) on side just above pectoral fin base; dorsal fin mainly grey, slightly yellowish posteriorly; caudal fin yellow with broad, dusky grey posterior margin; anal fin light grey except blackish on distal third; pelvic fins whitish; pectoral fins translucent with slight suffusion of yellow.


Female damselfishes lay demersal eggs onto hard substrates, and the male parent guards and aerates the eggs until the larvae hatch.


The specific name abyssicola is from Latin meaning "deep dweller" in reference to the deep water habitat of this species compared with that of most other pomacentrids.

Species Citation

Chromis abyssicola Allen & Randall, 1985, Rec. W. A. Mus. 12(2): 242. Type locality: Norfolk Island Ridge, about 520 km northwest of northern tip of North Island, New Zealand, 32°28'12"S, 167°28'06"E, depth 115-122 m. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Deepsea Puller, Chromis abyssicola Allen & Randall 1985


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

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. & Randall, J.E. 1985. A new species of damselfish (Pomacentridae) from eastern Australia and the Norfolk Island Ridge. Records of the Western Australian Museum 12(2): 241-245 See ref online

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Stewart, A.L., Roberts, C.D. & Struthers, C.D. 2015. Family Pomacentridae. pp. 1406-1423 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372031

Depth:63-165 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm SL

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CAAB distribution map