Threespot Damsel, Pomacentrus tripunctatus Cuvier 1830

Other Names: Three-spot Damsel, Three-spot Damsel-fish, Threespot Demoiselle

A juvenile Threespot Damsel, Pomacentrus tripunctatus, at Bedok South, Singapore, June 2012. Source: Ria Tan, Wild Singapore / Flickr. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial-NoDerivatives

A brownish damselfish with darker scale margins, and a large dark spot on the upper caudal peduncle. Juveniles are paler with an ocellus on the upper caudal peduncle and an additional large ocellus on the rear of the dorsal fin, and iridescent blue lines on the head and back.

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

Threespot Damsel, Pomacentrus tripunctatus Cuvier 1830

More Info


Buccaneer Archipelago, Western Australia, to the Capricorn Group, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, west Pacific.
Often seen amongst coral rubble on silty coastal reefs with sparse coral and algal growth in shallow bays and harbours.


Feeds mostly on benthic algae.

Species Citation

Pomacentrus tripunctatus Cuvier, in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1830, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons 5: 421. Type locality: Vanicolo, Santa Cruz Islands [11°37'S, 166°58'E].


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Threespot Damsel, Pomacentrus tripunctatus Cuvier 1830


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

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. 

Alleyne, H.G. & Macleay, W.J. 1877. The ichthyology of the Chevert Expedition. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1(3–4): 261-281, 321-359, pls 3-9, 10-17

Castelnau, F.L. de 1873. Contribution to the ichthyology of Australia. 5. Notes on fishes from north Australia. Proceedings of the Zoological and Acclimatisation Society of Victoria 2: 83-97 

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

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

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 

Larson, H.K. & Williams, R.S. 1997. Darwin Harbour fishes: a survey and annotated checklist. pp. 339-380 in Hanley, H.R., Caswell, G., Megirian, D. & Larson, H.K. (eds). The Marine Flora and Fauna of Darwin Harbour, Northern Territory, Australia. Proceedings of the Sixth International Marine Biology Workshop. Darwin : Museum and Art Gallery of the Northern Territory 466 pp. 

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

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. 

Russell, B.C. 1983. Annotated checklist of the coral reef fishes in the Capricorn-Bunker group, Great Barrier Reef, Australia. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. Special Publication Series 1: 1-184 figs 1-2 

Whitley, G.P. 1928. Studies in Ichthyology. No. 2. Records of the Australian Museum 16(4): 211-239 figs 1-2 pls 16-18

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372125

Depth:0-3 m

Habitat:Reef associated, silty areas

Max Size:8 cm SL

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