Meridian Adventure Dive bring you the monthly Raja Ampat Creature Feature series: Sergeant Major Fish
The Sergeant major fish (Abudefduf saxatilis) is a species of damselfish commonly found in tropical waters. They are characterized by their distinctive black and white stripes, which resemble the uniform of a sergeant major in the military, hence the name.
Damselfish, also known as demoiselles or anemonefish, are small to moderately sized marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae. They are known for their vibrant colours and play essential roles in the ecosystem of coral reefs. Here are a few key points about damselfish:
Habitat and Distribution: Damselfish are predominantly found in warm tropical and subtropical waters, particularly coral reef environments. They can be found in the Atlantic, Indian, and Pacific Oceans.
Size and Appearance: Damselfish come in various colours and sizes, but they generally have a laterally compressed body shape and a single dorsal fin. They are relatively small fish, with most species ranging from 5 to 10 cm long.
Behaviour: Damselfish are known for their territorial behaviour. They establish and defend small territories within the coral reef. Some species are quite aggressive and can be seen chasing away intruders from their environment.
Symbiotic Relationships: Some damselfish species have a symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. They are immune to the anemones' stinging tentacles and use them to protect against predators. In return, the damselfish provide food for the anemones through debris and small prey.
Reproduction: Damselfish exhibit a unique reproductive behaviour where they start as males and then can change into females later in life. A dominant male in a group will transform into a female if the existing female dies or is removed.
Feeding: Damselfish are omnivores, meaning they eat a mixture of plant and animal matter. Their diet often includes plankton, algae, small invertebrates, and sometimes detritus.
They are studied for their ecological significance, intriguing social behaviours, and unique reproductive strategies.
Raja Ampat is a well-known marine biodiversity hotspot in the West Papua province of Indonesia. It's renowned for its stunning coral reefs and diverse marine life, making it a popular destination for scuba diving enthusiasts. The sergeant major fish can be found around Raja Ampat, as it inhabits the Indo-Pacific region's coral reefs and rocky areas.
About Meridian Adventure Dive
Situated in Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Meridian Adventure Dive is a PADI 5 Star Resort and winner of the PADI Green Star award. Scuba divers enjoy our professional services that have become synonymous with both the PADI and Meridian Adventure names.