damselfish

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damselfish,

common name for members of the large family Pomacentridae, marine fishes of tropical waters. Common in the West Indies and along the Florida coasts are the sergeant-major, named for its vertical stripes, and the reef fish, found among coral reefs. The clownfish and blue devil are popular aquarium species. Males of this family guard the eggs zealously. Damselfishes rarely grow to more than 6 in. (15 cm) in length. Certain members of the family, known as anemonefishes, are found associated with sea anemones, which are injurious to the fishes' predators, and which afford protection to the anemonefishes. Damselfish are classified in the phylum ChordataChordata
, phylum of animals having a notochord, or dorsal stiffening rod, as the chief internal skeletal support at some stage of their development. Most chordates are vertebrates (animals with backbones), but the phylum also includes some small marine invertebrate animals.
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, subphylum Vertebrata, class Actinopterygii, order Perciformes, family Pomacentridae.
References in periodicals archive ?
Lonnstedt said that young damsel fish are pale yellow in colour and have this distinctive black circular 'eye' marking towards their tail, which fades as they mature.
She explained that they found that when young damsel fish were placed in a specially built tank where they were able to see and smell predatory fish without being attacked, they began growing a bigger eye spot, and their real eye became relatively smaller, compared with damsels exposed only to herbivorous fish, or isolated ones.
When the researchers investigated what happens in nature on a coral reef with lots of predators, they found that juvenile damsel fish with enlarged eye spots had an amazing five times the survival rate of fish with a normal-sized spot.