Threespot Humbug, Dascyllus trimaculatus (Rüppell 1829)


Other Names: Threespot Damsels, Threespot Dascyllus, Three-spot Dascyllus, Three-spot Humbug

A Threespot Humbug, Dascyllus trimaculatus, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC BY Attribution

Summary:
Juveniles are black overall with bluish scale centres, a white blotch on the forehead and another on the upper sides. Adults lack the spot on the head, and the spot on the sides is reduced in size, and they may be much paler when breeding. Some individuals also have yellow caudal, anal and pelvic fins.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Dascyllus trimaculatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 Oct 2020, http://136.154.202.208/Home/species/349

Threespot Humbug, Dascyllus trimaculatus (Rüppell 1829)

More Info


Distribution

Rottnest Island to the Dampeir Archipelago and offhsore reefs of north Western Australia, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, to New Year Island, Northern Territory, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Jervis Bay, New South Wales; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province (and possibly Norfolk Island) in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.

Inhabits coral and rocky reefs. Groups of adults usually frequent coral heads and large rocks, while juveniles often shelter among the spines of Diadema sea urchins, large sea anemones or within branching corals.

Features

Dorsal fin XI, I,14-16; Anal fin II,14-15.
Body depth 1.4-1.6 in SL. Margins of preorbital, suborbital and preoperculum finely serrated.

Biology

Species of the genus Dascyllus are obligate coral dwellers. They are protogynous hermaphrodites, with females having the ability to change sex during their life cycle. One or two dominant males defend a single branching coral head with a harem of juveniles and females. In return for the shelter provided by the coral, the fish remove unwanted algal growth from the coral. Females spawn demersal adhesive eggs that are guarded by the male parent until the larvae hatch.

Etymology

The specific name trimaculatus is form the Latin tres (= three) and macula (= spot) in reference to the three white spots on the body of this species.

Species Citation

Pomacentrus trimaculatus Rüppell, 1829, Fische des Rothen Meeres. 2: 39. Type locality: Massawa, Eritrea, Red Sea.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Threespot Humbug, Dascyllus trimaculatus (Rüppell 1829)

References


Allen, G.R. 1975. Damselfishes of the South Seas. New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 237 pp. 251 figs. 

Allen, G. R. 1986. Family 219: Pomacentridae. pp. 670-682 in Smith, M.M. & Heemstra, P.C. (eds). Smith's Sea Fishes. Johannesburg : Macmillan South Africa xx + 1047 pp. 144 pls. 

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

Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91 

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. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Res. Bull. 412: 21 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Asoh, K. & Kasuya, M. 2002. Gonadal development and mode of sexuality in a coral-reef damselfish, Dascyllus trimaculatus. Journal of Zoology 256: 301–309 https://doi.org/10.1017/S0952836902000341.

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp.

Erisman, B.E., Petersen, C.W., Hastings, P.A. & Warner, R.R. 2013. Phylogenetic perspectives on the evolution of functional hermaphroditism in teleost fishes. Integrative and Comparative Biology 53(4): 736–754, https://doi.org/10.1093/icb/ict077

Fishelson, L. 1998. Behaviour, socio‐ecology and sexuality in damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Italian Journal of Zoology 65(S1): 387-398 https://doi.org/10.1080/11250009809386853

Francis, M.P. 2019. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Version: 2019.2 figshare. Collection. https://doi.org/10.6084/m9.figshare.c.4428305.v2

Gill, A.C. & Reader, S.E. 1992. Fishes. pp. 90-93, 193-228 in Hutchings, P. (ed.)  Reef Biology. A Survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, South Pacific. Canberra : Australian National Parks Vol. 3, Kowari 230 pp.

Godwin, J. 1995. Phylogenetic and habitat influences on mating system structure in the humbug damselfishes (Dascyllus, Pomacentridae). Bulletin of Marine Science 57: 637–52.  

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & Hoschke, A. (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

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Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp.  

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762 

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)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.  

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R. & Kuiter, S. 2018. Coastal sea-fishes of south-eastern Australia. Seaford, Victoria : Aquatic Photographics, 371 pp.

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293

McCafferty, S., Bermingham, E., Quenouille, B., Planes, S., Hoelzer, G. & Asoh, K. 2002. Historical biogeography and molecular systematics of the Indo-Pacific genus Dascyllus (Teleostei: Pomacentridae). Molecular Ecology 11: 1377–1392.  

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp.

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

Randall, H.A. & Allen, G.R. 1977. A revision of the damselfish genus Dascyllus (Pomacentridae) with the description of a new species. Records of The Australian Museum 31(9): 349-385. DOI: 0.3853/j.0067-1975.31.1977.217

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Rüppell, W.P.E. 1829. Atlas zu der Reise im nördlichen Afrika. Fische des Rothen Meeres. 2. Frankfurt : H.L. Brünner 29-94 pls 8-24. See ref at BHL

Shpigel M. & Fishelson L. 1986. Behaviour and physiology of coexistence in two species of Dascyllus (Pomacentridae, Teleostei). Environmental Biology of Fishes 17: 253-265.

Whitley, G.P. 1929. Some fishes of the order Amphiprioniformes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 9(3): 207-246 figs 1-4 pls 27-28 (as Pellochromis trimaculatus)

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37372075

Biology:Hermaphrodite

Depth:1-55 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:11 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map