Yellowback Puller, Chromis nitida (Whitley 1928)

Other Names: Barrier Reef Chromis, Shining Puller, Yellow-back Puller, Yellow-backed Puller

A Yellowback Puller, Chromis nitida, at North West Solitary Island, New South Wales. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A damselfish with a yellowish back usually separated from the silvery white lower side by a dark stripe running through the eye to the base of the soft dorsal fin,  a black spot on the pectoral-fin base, a deeply forked tail with a black bar along the outer margins - the upper bar extending back to the last dorsal-fin ray.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Chromis nitida in Fishes of Australia, accessed 24 May 2024,

Yellowback Puller, Chromis nitida (Whitley 1928)

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Merimbula, New South Wales, and Lord Howe Island in the Tasman Sea.
Adults often form small to large aggregations in coral rich areas on the outer reef edge, and sometimes in lagoons.


The specific name nitida is from the Latin nitidus (= shining, polished, glittering), presumably in reference to the silvery sides.

Species Citation

Tetradrachmum nitidum Whitley 1928, Records of the Australian Museum 16(4): 219, pl. 17. Type locality: Hayman Island, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Yellowback Puller, Chromis nitida (Whitley 1928)


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. 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., Hoese, D.F., Paxton, J.R., Randall, J.E., Russell, B.C., Starck, W.A., Talbot, F.H. & Whitley, G.P. 1976. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Lord Howe Island. Records of the Australian Museum 30(15): 365-454 figs 1-2 

Brandl, S.J. & Bellwood, D.R. 2014. Pair-formation in coral reef fishes: an ecological perspective. in  Hughes, R.N., Hughes, D.J., Smith, I.P. (eds) Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review 52: 1-80, CRC Press.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2 

Goatley, C.H.R. & Bellwood, D.R. 2014. Moving towards the equator: reverse range shifts in two subtropical reef fish species, Chromis nitida (Pomacentridae) and Pseudolabrus guentheri (Labridae). Marine Biodiversity Records 7: e12

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

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) 

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

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

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. 1928. Studies in Ichthyology. No. 2. Records of the Australian Museum 16(4): 211-239 figs 1-2 pls 16-18 DOI: 10.3853/j.0067-1975.16.1928.786

Whitley, G.P. 1929. Some fishes of the order Amphiprioniformes. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 9(3): 207-246 figs 1-4 pls 27-28 See ref at BHL

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372049


Depth:1-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:7 cm SL


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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map