Ambon Damsel, Pomacentrus amboinensis Bleeker 1868

Other Names: Amboina Damselfish, Amboina Demoiselle, Pallid Damsel-fish

An Ambon Damsel, Pomacentrus amboinensis, at Cook Island Aquatic Reserve off Fingal Head, New South Wales. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution


A yellow to pale mauve damselfish with darker scale margins, a spot at the top of gill cover and another spot on the upper pectoral fin base. Juveniles have an ocellus or false 'eye spot' on the rear of the dorsal fin.

Recent research has shown that if constantly threatened by predators, these small damselfishes can grow a larger false ‘eye spot’ – and even more astounding, can also reduce the size of their real eyes. They are also able to recognise the UV facial patterns of individual Ambon Damselfish.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Pomacentrus amboinensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Dec 2023,

Ambon Damsel, Pomacentrus amboinensis Bleeker 1868

More Info


Known in Australia from the Dampier Archipelago and off shore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, to the Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to northern New South Wales, with juveniles as far south as Sydney, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the west Pacific, from eastern Indonesia to Tonga, and north to southern Japan.

Commonly seen in small groups in lagoons, inshore reefs, reef passages and on outer reef slopes, inhabiting sandy areas around outcrops.


Omnivore - feeds mostly on algae, and also consumes zooplankton.


Forms pairs during the breeding season. Females lay demersal adhesive eggs that are guarded and aerated by the male parent until the larvae hatch.

Species Citation

Pomacentrus amboinensis Bleeker, 1868, Verslag. Mededeel. Konink. Akad. Wetensch. 2 2: 334. Type locality: Ambon, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Ambon Damsel, Pomacentrus amboinensis Bleeker 1868


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Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372106

Depth:2-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:11 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map