Charcoal Damsel, Pomacentrus brachialis Cuvier 1830

Other Names: Bar-finned Damsel, Black Damsel

A Charcoal Damsel, Pomacentrus brachialis, on Abington Reef in the Coral Sea, November 2016. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A dark grey to blackish damselfish with a large black spot covering the pectoral-fin base. Juveniles also have the pectoral-fin spot and are bluish-grey with bright blue fin margins.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Pomacentrus brachialis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2022,

Charcoal Damsel, Pomacentrus brachialis Cuvier 1830

More Info


Cartier Island, Timor Sea, and Torres Strait Islands to Moreton Bay, Queensland, also reefs in the Coral Sea. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, west Pacific.


Usually feeds on zooplankton above the reef, but also feeds on benthic algae.

Species Citation

Pomacentrus brachialis Cuvier, 1830, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 5: 420. Type locality: Java, Indonesia.


Dianne J. Bray


Australian Faunal Directory

Charcoal Damsel, Pomacentrus brachialis Cuvier 1830


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

Allen, G.R. & J.E. Randall. 2005. A new species of damselfish (Pomacentrus: Pomacentridae) from Fiji. aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 10(3): 95-101.

Cuvier, G.L. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1830. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 5 499 pp. pls 100-140.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

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, 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.

Whitley, G.P. 1935. Studies in Ichthyology No. 9. Records of the Australian Museum 19(4): 215-250 figs 1-11 pl. 18 (described as a new species Pseudopomacentrus rainfordi)

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372109

Depth:6-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10.5 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map