Whitetail Chromis, Pycnochromis leucurus (Gilbert 1905)

A Whitetail Chromis, Pycnochromis leucurus, at Reunion Island. Source: zsispeo / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A small deep blue to dark bluish-grey or navy Chromis with a white filamentous tail, usually a yellowish tinge on the anterior part of the dorsal fin, a broad black margin on the rear of the dorsal and anal fins that crosses the caudal peduncle, yellow pelvic fins and a large black spot often ringed in yellow on the pectoral-fin base. The hind margins of both the dorsal and anal fins appear almost vertical due to the transparent outer rays.
This species was previously known as Chromis leucura..

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Pycnochromis leucurus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 10 Dec 2023, https://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5252

Whitetail Chromis, Pycnochromis leucurus (Gilbert 1905)

More Info


Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea off Queensland. Elsewhere the species is known from scattered localities in the Indo-west-central Pacific, from South Africa to the Hawaiian Islands.
Individuals or small groups inhabit sandy and rubble areas on deep coral and rocky reefs, usually on deeper patch reefs, or along outer deep reef walls and ledges in depths of 20-120 m.


Dorsal fin XII, 14; Anal fin II, 13-15; Pectoral fin 16-17; Gill rakers 24-27 (total first arch); Lateral-line scales 13-15.


Due to the deep-water habitat of this species, it is known from few specimens.


The specific name leucurus is from the Greek leuko- (= white) and oura (= tail), in reference to the white caudal fin and posterior half of the caudal peduncle of this species.

Species Citation

Chromis leucurus Gilbert 1905, Bull. U. S. Fish Comm. 23(2): 620, Pl. 77 (fig. 2). Type locality: Avau Channel, between Maui Island and Lanai Island, Hawaiian Islands, Albatross station 3875, depth 34-65 fathoms.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Whitetail Chromis, Pycnochromis leucurus (Gilbert 1905)


Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Melle, Germany : Mergus Verlag 271 pp. (as Chromis leucura)

Allen, G.R. 2022. Pycnochromis leucurus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2022: e.T188628A1904959. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2022-2.RLTS.T188628A1904959.en. Accessed on 21 September 2023.

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. (as Chromis leucura)

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp. (as Chromis leucura)

Gilbert, C.H. 1905. The deep-sea fishes. In, Jordan, D.S. & Evermann, B.W. The aquatic resources of the Hawaiian Islands. Bulletin of the United States Fish Commission 23(2): 575-713 figs 230-276 pls 66-101 See ref online

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.  (as Chromis leucura)

Tang, K.L., Stiassny, M.L.J., Mayden, R.L. & DeSalle, R. 2021. Systematics of Damselfishes. Ichthyology & Herpetology 109(1): 258-318. https://doi.org/10.1643/i2020105

Quick Facts

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:20-120 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (rare)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:8.5 cm TL

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