Headband Humbug, <i>Dascyllus reticulatus</i> Click to enlarge image
A Headband Humbug at a depth of 10m, just off Alofi Wharf, Niue, 18 July, 2012. Image: Hickson Fergusson
© Hickson Fergusson

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    reticulatus
    Genus
    Dascyllus
    Family
    Pomacentridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 9 cm in length.

Introduction

The Headband Humbug is coral reef dweller that occurs widely throughout the Indo-Pacific. It is commonly referred to as the Reticulated Dascyllus.



Identification

The Headband Humbug has a white or tan body usually with a dark bar crossing the body at the pectoral fin base. There is a second, less distinct bar at the rear of the body. The dorsal, anal and caudal fins are dark.

Habitat

The Headband Humbug inhabits seaward reefs and lagoons, often associated with branching corals, particularly Pocillopora eydouxi. It is usually seen in small schools, and can be one of the most common damselfishes on coral reefs. It is found in depths from 1 m to 50 m.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific, from the Cocos-Keeling Islands, throughout South-east Asia and Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to the Pitcairn Islands. In Australia it is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland south to northern New South Wales and Lord Howe Island.

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.



Feeding and diet

The species feeds primarily on algae.

Breeding behaviours

When mating, the male will clear a section of coral or rock so that the female can attach her eggs.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1975. Damselfishes of the South Seas. TFH Publications. Pp. 237.
  2. Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Mergus. Pp. 271.
  3. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
  4. 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.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.