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Related FAQs: Sergeant Major Damsels, Damsel Identification, Damsel Selection, Damsel Compatibility, Damsel Feeding, Damsel DiseaseDamsel Reproduction

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/A Diversity of Fishes

Abudefduf Damsels, the Sergeant Majors 

By Bob Fenner

Abudefduf abdominalis 

Aquarium Species of Note in the Genus Abudefduf:

Of the twenty valid species, only a few Abudefduf make their way into the aquarium trade. Below are the most commonly offered.

Abudefduf abdominalis (Quoy & Gaimard 1825), the Green Damselfish, or Maomao if you're in Hawai'i. Central Pacific, Hawaii to Polynesia. To eight inches in length in the wild. Here in Hawai'i. http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.phpID=6652&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=abdominalis

Abudefduf conformis Randall & Earle 1999, the Marquesan Sergeant Major. To about five inches in length. Eastern Central Pacific: Marquesas Islands. Image from there.  http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.php?ID=55476&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=conformis

Abudefduf saxatilis (Linnaeus 1758), the Sergeant Major. Both Atlantic coasts to cooler waters. To six inches in length. This one from the Bahamas. Very similar to the Indo-west Pacific Abudefduf vaigensis, discerned by its further back fourth black body bar. Eggs below in St. Thomas 2014 http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.php?ID=1119&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=saxatilis

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Abudefduf septemfasciatus (Cuvier 1830), the Banded Sergeant. Indo-Pacific in surge zones. To nine inches long in the wild. Only occasionally imported for our interests. This one in the Seychelles, Indian Ocean. http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.php?ID=5687&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=septemfasciatus

Abudefduf sexfasciatus (Lacepede 1801), the Scissor-Tail Sergeant. Found all over the Indo-Pacific, but not Hawai'i. Not as hardy in captivity as other Abudefduf species. To five inches long.  Fiji and N. Sulawesi pix. http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.php?ID=5688&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=sexfasciatus

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Abudefduf sordidus (Forsskal 1775), The Black-Spot Sergeant or Dirty Damsel. Indo-Pacific, including Hawai'i. Lives in high surge areas. To almost seven inches in length. Only occasionally imported as a pet-fish. These images from the Maldives and Hawai'i. http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.php?ID=5689&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=sordidus

Abudefduf sparoides, the False-eye Damsel. Smallish-bodied for the genus; overall metallic blue with dark blotch near caudal peduncle. To six inches. Western Indian Ocean.    Mauritius 2016 

Abudefduf troschelii (Gill 1862), Panamic Sergeant. Eastern Pacific; Baja California to Peru and the Galapagos Islands. To six and a half inches in length. One down at Mexico's Baja tip, another in the Galapagos.  http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.phpID=8245&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=troschelii

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Abudefduf vaigiensis (Quoy & Gaimard 1825), the Indo-Pacific Sergeant Major. Eastern coast of Africa and Red Sea, out to the Line and Tuamotu Islands. To six inches long. Fourth black body bar originates after hard dorsal fin. Here in the Red Sea and Northern Sulawesi. http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.php?ID=6630&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=vaigiensis

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Abudefduf whitleyi Allen & Robertson 1974, Whitley's Sergeant. Western Pacific; Australia and New Caledonia. To a little under six inches in length. A beautiful and easier going member of the genus, which unfortunately rarely finds its way into ornamental markets. Image shot off Heron Island, Australia.  http://fishbase.org/Summary/species Summary.phpID=9626&genusname= Abudefduf&speciesname=whitleyi

Bibliography/Further Reading:

Allen, Gerald R. 1975. Damselfishes of the South Seas. TFH Publications, Neptune City, N.J.

Allen, Gerald R. 1976. How many sergeant majors? Marine Aquarist 7(6):76.

Allen, Gerald R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Aquarium Systems, Mentor, Ohio.

American Society of Ichthyologists and Herpetologists, 1978. The Biology of the Damselfishes a symposium held during the 56th annual meeting of the ASIH. Rosentiel School of Mar. & Atm. Sci. U. of Miami, 1980, 145-328.

Emmens, C.W. 1984. Damselfishes. TFH 9/84.

Fenner, Bob. 1989. Successfully selling the popular marines. Pets Supplies Marketing 1/89.

Fenner, Bob & Cindi Camp, 1991. Damselfishes, saltwater bread and butter. FAMA 10/91.

Fenner, Robert. 1998. The Conscientious Marine Aquarist. Microcosm, VT. 432pp.

Fenner, Robert. 1999. The indomitable damsels- Family Pomacentridae. TFH 1/99.

Flood, A. Colin. 1992. Those darling damsels. TFH 8/92.

Gamble, Sam. 1997. The commoner of importance- The damselfish in a striped suit. FAMA 2/97.

Hemdal, J., 1985. Pomacentrids of the Atlantic. Freshwater and Marine Aquarium Magazine 8(4) 48-52 

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