Yellowtip Gregory, Plectroglyphidodon apicalis (De Vis 1885)

Other Names: Australian Gregory, Orange-tipped Damsel-fish, Yellow-tipped Gregory

A Yellowtip Gregory, Plectroglyphidodon apicalis, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales, July 2016. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A dark brown damselfish with a distinctive orange margin on the dorsal fin and upper lobe of the tail, and a blue leading edge on the pelvic and anal fins. Juveniles have a large dark ocellus on the front of the dorsal fin which becomes a small black spot in adults.
This species was previously known as Stegastes apicalis.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Plectroglyphidodon apicalis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 07 Dec 2022,

Yellowtip Gregory, Plectroglyphidodon apicalis (De Vis 1885)

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to Seal Rocks, New South Wales, with juveniles to Sydney; also the Lord Howe Island region in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Caledonia.
Inhabits shallow rubble, patch reef areas and dead coral outcrops in lagoons and shallow reef crests.    


Dorsal fin XIII, 15-16; Anal fin II, 13. 


Body dark brown overlain with yellow or red on antero-dorsal part of head and body blackish streaks near scale margins, giving an appearance of narrow transverse bands; small blue spots scattered on head, breast and posteriorly on sides; spinous dorsal fin reddish-brown with orange submarginal band; soft dorsal fin with orange margin; black spot on distal part of membrane between 2nd and 3rd dorsal-fin spines; upper caudal-fin lobe with orange tip; blue leading edge on pelvic and anal fins.


The Yellowtip Gregory cultivates a thin layer of turf algae on barren regions and coral rubble.


The specific name is from the Latin apicalis (= apical, pertaining to the tip), possibly in reference to the tip of the upper caudal-fin lobe described by De Vis as "... the upper lobe of the caudal broadly tipped with white" (yellow in life).

Species Citation

Pomacentrus apicalis De Vis 1885,  Proc. Linn. Soc. N. S. W. 1 9(4): [874. Type locality: Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Yellowtip Gregory, Plectroglyphidodon apicalis (De Vis 1885)


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

Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Melle, Germany : Mergus Verlag 271 pp. (as Stegastes apicalis)

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. (as Stegastes apicalis)

Allen, G.R. & Emery, A.R. 1985. A review of the pomacentrid fishes of the genus Stegastes from the Indo-west Pacific with descriptions of two new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 3: 1-31 figs 1-5 pls 1-3 (as Stegastes apicalis)

Casey, J.M., Ainsworth, T.D., Choat, J.H. & Connolly, S.R. 2014. Farming behaviour of reef fishes increases the prevalence of coral disease associated microbes and black band disease. Proceedings of the Royal Society B: Biological Sciences 281(1788): 20141032. (as Stegastes apicalis)

De Vis, C.W. 1885. New fishes in the Queensland Museum. No. 5. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(4): 869-887 See ref at BHL

Fricke, R., Kulbicki, M. & Wantiez, L. 2011. Checklist of the fishes of New Caledonia, and their distribution in the Southwest Pacific Ocean (Pisces). Stuttgarter Beiträge zur Naturkunde. Serie A (Biologie) Neue Serie 4: 341-463 (as Stegastes apicalis)

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

Hoey, A.S., Pratchett, M.S., Johansen, J. & Hoey, J. 2014. Marine ecological survey of Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs, Lord Howe Commonwealth Marine Reserve. Final report produced for the Department of the Environment. ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies, James Cook University, Townsville, QLD, 101 pp. (as Stegastes apicalis)

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) (as Stegastes apicalis)

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

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. (as Stegastes apicalis)

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. (as Stegastes apicalis)

Tang, K.L., Stiassny, M.L.J., Mayden, R.L. & DeSalle, R. 2021. Systematics of Damselfishes. Ichthyology & Herpetology 109(1): 258-318.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372131

Depth:1-5 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map