Damselfish (chromis chromis)
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Common name Damselfish
Scientific name Chromis chromis
Class Osteichthyes
Order Perciformes
Family Pomacentridae
Distribution The Mediterranean, the Black Sea and the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to Angola.
Habitat rocky substrates and meadows of Posidonia oceanica, from a few metres beneath the surface up to depths of 40-50 metres.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 16 cm.
Characteristicts Oval body; short head; well-defined caudal fin with pointed lobes.

Damselfish have flat oval bodies, a short head and a particularly protractile small mouth. The pectoral fins are broad and brush like. The first ray of the ventral fin is stringy. The tail fin is forked and pointed. Adults are dark brown or almost black whereas juveniles are a lively, almost fluorescent, light blue.

This species tends to form thick shoals that swim near coastal rocks formations and above reefs. Reproduction takes place in the summer (from May to August). The males mark-out a territory and carefully clean an area of rock where the female lays a number of sticky eggs. The male then guards the eggs until they hatch. The diet of a damselfish can include small crustaceans, plankton, and algae.