Blue-scribbled Damsel, Pomacentrus nagasakiensis Tanaka 1917

Other Names: Nagasaki Damsel, Sandy Damsel

A Blue-scribbled Damsel, Pomacentrus nagasakiensis, in the Dampier Marine Park, Western Australia. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Pomacentrus nagasakiensis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 28 Nov 2022,

Blue-scribbled Damsel, Pomacentrus nagasakiensis Tanaka 1917

More Info


Widespread in Australia, from Cape Cuvier to off Port Hedland and offshore reefs of north Western Australia, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea, to Sydney, New South Wales. The species may also occur in the Northern Territory including the Gulf of Carpentaria - although these records may be misidentifications of Pomacentrus limosus.
Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west-central Pacific: Maldives and Sri Lanka east to Palau and Papua New Guinea, north to Japan, south to Australia and New Caledonia.

Small groups inhabit sandy areas in lagoons and seaward reefs with outcrops of soft coral patches or gorgonians.

Similar Species

The similar Muddy Damsel, Pomacentrus limosus, has a small black spot at the pectoral-fin base, vs the large black patch covering the pectoral-fin base in this species.


The species is named for Nagasaki, Japan, the type locality.

Species Citation

Pomacentrus nagasakiensis Tanaka 1917, Zoological Magazine, Tokyo 29(339): 9. Type locality: Nagasaki, Japan.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Blue-scribbled Damsel, Pomacentrus nagasakiensis Tanaka 1917


Allen, G.R. 1987. New Australian fishes. Part 3. A new species of Pomacentrus (Pomacentridae). Memoirs of Museum Victoria 48(1): 9-11 fig. 1 (described as Pomacentrus arenarius)

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. 3337-3356 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. & 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. 

Hutchins, B. 2004. Fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 66: 343–398 

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

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)

Kerrigan, B.A. 1996. Temporal patterns in size and condition at settlement in two tropical reef fishes (Pomacentridae: Pomacentrus amboinensis and P. nagasakiensis). Marine Ecology Progress Series 135: 27-41.

Milicich, M.J., Meekan, M.G. & Doherty, P.J. 1992. Larval supply: a good predictor of recruitment of three species of reef fish (Pomacentridae), Marine Ecology Progress Series 86: 153-166.

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

Tanaka, S. 1917. Eleven new species of the fishes from Japan. Zoological Magazine, Tokyo 29(339): 7-12 [in Japanese]

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372119

Depth:5-60 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:11 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map