Matt Clarke on Sulphur damsel, Pomacentrus sulfureus, an unusual pomacentrid for the reef tank.
Common name: Sulphur damsel
Scientific name: Pomacentrus sulfureus
Origin: This pomacentrid is found in the Western Indian Ocean from the Red Sea down the East African coast to the Comores, Madagascar, the Seychelles and Mauritius.
Size: Fairly large for a damsel at around 8cm/3\" when fully grown.
Water: Typical marine aquarium conditions. Quite simple to cater for.
Diet: These fish were doing well on a diet of Aquarian flakes, as well as a wide variety of frozen foods.
Habitat: This is a reef associated damsel and is found among coral heads. According to Dr Gerald Allen, it tends to occur mainly on inshore coral reefs.
Aquarium: This species should be easy to cater for, but appears to be a little bit feisty, like most Pomacentrus species. It\'s fine for the reef tank, although due to potential aggression levels, there could be better choices.
Notes: The colouration of juvenile P. sulfureus is so different that you could think you\'re looking at a different fish. Young fish (under 3-4cm) tend to be white with a yellow head and dorsal surface. There\'s a prominent black spot on the back of the dorsal with a blue ring around it, plus various blue squiggles on the face and rows of blue spots laterally along the flanks.
Identification: There are several similar damsels with a yellow base colour and a black spot on the base of the pectoral fin, including P. moluccensis and P. pikei. The latter has dark blue lips, while moluccensis has a smaller pectoral spot and blue markings on the scales.
Availability: We spotted some on sale at the Goldfish Bowl, Oxford (01865 241825). They are rarely seen in the aquarium trade.
Price: Expect to pay about 15.