Animal Species:Golden Damsel, Amblyglyphidodon aureus (Cuvier, 1830)
The Golden Damsel can be distinguished by its golden yellow colour and the small bluish to purplish spots on its face.
Standard Common Name
The Golden Damsel can be distinguished by its golden yellow colour and the small bluish to purplish spots on its face. Some fish may have a dark diffuse blotch on the sides of the body.
The species grows to 12 cm in length.
The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Eastern Indian and Western Pacific oceans. Its distribution extends from Thailand to Indonesia, across New Guinea, north to the Philippine Islands and Taiwan and as far east as the Marshall Islands and Fiji. In Australia it is known from the offshore reefs of north-western Western Australia and from the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.
The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information. Source: Atlas of Living Australia.
Distribution by collection data
The Golden Damsel typically inhabits steep outer reef slopes where there are abundant sea fans (gorgonians) and black coral. It is occasionally found in deep lagoons and along channel walls in depths from 12 m to 45 m.
Feeding and Diet
Golden Damsels are often seen as solitary individuals or in small aggregations feeding on zooplankton a few metres above the bottom.
Other behaviours and adaptations
Larval Golden Damsels often settle in sea fans or black coral habitat.
- Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Mergus. Pp. 271. Allen, G.R. 1975. Damselfishes of the South Seas. TFH Publications. Pp. 237.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. In Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.
Mark McGrouther , Senior Fellow