South Sea Demoiselle
Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish
Southseas Devil ~ Village Belle ~ Blue Star DamselFamily: PomacentridaeChrysiptera taupouPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Hiroyuki Tanaka
The South Sea Demoiselle or Fiji Blue Devil Damsel is a beautiful and excellent aquarium pet... without too much "devil" in its personality!
Dealers recommend the South Sea Demoiselle especially to beginners as it is quite easy to keep. It can be kept in either a fish only tank or a reef environment, will accept a wide variety of foods, and is quite disease resistant. This great beauty is relatively non-aggressive and can do well with a variety of other fish. It needs some open space for free swimming and many crevices to hide in. Provide a rock/ coral decor that has many nooks and crannies.
Aquarists are fascinated by the South Sea Demoiselle's brilliant, gorgeous colors. Under the sun the blue reflects neon-like colors of bright greenish-blue.This species will keep its brilliant blue in the aquarium, but it may become darker or deep blue on occasion, depending on conditions. Many of the Chrysiptera damsels are lavishly colored and eye-catching, but some are called "Devils", because of their extraordinary aggressiveness and quarrelsome behavior. These scrappy fish cannot be housed with colorful butterflyfish, small angelfishes, and often others of their own species.
Though the South Sea Demoiselle, also called the Fiji Blue Devil Damsel, bears a close resemblance to and was at one time even identified as the same fish as the Blue Devil Damsel C. cyanea, it is a bit less aggressive. These two fish are close relatives and because they have a similar coloration, will sometimes be confused. The more aggressive Blue Devil Damsel however, has no yellow dorsal fin or the whitish abdomen of the South Sea Demoiselle, and the yellow dots on the side can not be seen.
For more Information on keeping marine fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium
Habitat: Natural geographic location: The South Sea Demoiselle or Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish was described by Jordan and Seale in 1906. They are found in the Coral Sea; northern Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa Islands. This species was described as Abudefduf taupou from Samoa, but today is valid as Chrysiptera taupou with the previous description now being a junior synonym. It is closely related to the very similar Blue Devil Damsel C. cyanea from the West Pacific, but they do not overlap in their ranges except the northern part of Great Barrier Reef of Australia.
This species is usually encountered in shallower waters, in a small group at depths between 5 1/2 - 32 feet (2 -10 meters). This damselfish was once mysteriously recorded from Ishigaki Island, southern Ryukyus (female, 30mm; Burgess & Axelrod, 1973) but no other report from Japanese waters has been known of since then.
The genus Chrysiptera is wide spread in the Indo-West Pacific and the number of species is still increasing. Most of them are colorful and very hardy in captivity. The family Pomacentridae comprises some 350 species, and this genus is a large group within that family. It includes fish like this one, that are entirely blue or with some yellow to orange areas; along with the Blue Devil Damsel C. cyanea, Yellow-tail Demoiselle C. parasema, and Springer's Demoiselle C. springeri.
Some species are sexually dimorphic and usually the males are more colorful than females of the same species. The most variable species in the family is the Blue Devil Damsel C. cyanea depending on locality, and therefore it has a long list of synonyms. The South Sea Demoiselle or Fiji Blue Devil Damsel was once regarded as the same species as the Blue Devil Damsel (Allen, 1975).
Female Photo © Animal-World
Description: The South Sea Demoiselle or Fiji Blue Devil Damselfish are sexually dimorphic. Males are blue, turning abruptly yellow ventrally and the chest is whitish. There are many yellowish dots on the side and a whitish line on the abdomen posteriorly. The dorsal fin is blue while the pelvic and anal fins are yellowish. The caudal fin is blue anteriorly and yellowish posteriorly. There is often an eye-sized black spot posteriorly on the dorsal-fin base. Females are similar but most parts of the dorsal fin are yellowish, getting translucent posteriorly.
Juveniles are similar to the adults but the yellow dots are faint and the abdomen is whitish instead of yellow. Individuals with an intermediate color pattern in the dorsal fin can be occasionally be seen and are sometimes available.
Maintenance difficulty: The South Sea Demoiselle or Fiji Blue Devil Damsel readily adapts to a captive environment without any special care. It is hardy and will take a variety of foods. It will do well in either a fish only aquarium or a reef environment, but may attack small inverts like live shrimps. It needs some open space for free swimming along with rocks/ corals that provide many crevices to hide in. No need for a sand bed.
Chrysiptera members are hardy and seldom suffer from infectious diseases. Various parasitic infestations are probably the most common, often resulting from a poor quarantine practice with new arrivals. They can be safely treated with medicine or copper drugs if infected.
In the wild a cleaner wrasse (Labroides sp.) will help them by taking parasites from their bodies, however these wrasses are extremely difficult to sustain in captivity. Alternative fish such as Neon Gobies (Gobiosoma spp.) can help them by providing this cleaning service in the home aquarium.
For more information see Fish diseases.
Foods: The South Sea Demoiselle is believed to feed on plankton (both zooplankton and phytoplankton) in the wild. No special food is required and they will accept a wide variety of foods. Provide Meaty foods, dried flakes, shrimps, and occasionally tablets. Feed at least twice a day.
Maintenance: No special care is needed to maintain this fish in the aquarium. It will accept a wide variety of foods and will become a hardy pet. It is usually a very active swimmer and it will venture to the surface for foods when acclimated. Frequent water changes are not necessary, rather normal water changes at 10% biweekly or 20% monthly are fine.
For more information see, Marine Aquarium Basics: Maintenance
The tank should be well decorated with rocks/ corals with many hiding places, as well as open areas for swimming. There is no need for a sand bed. It can be kept in either a fish only tank or a reef aquarium.
Minimum Tank Length/Size:
A minimum 30 gallon (114 liters).
Light: Recommended light levels
It prefers to be kept under normal lighting conditions
This species lives in tropical areas. Temperatures between 75 -79° F (24 - 26° C) will serve them well, but temperatures higher than 84° F (29° C) or below 72 ° F (22° C) would not be good.
Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong
Water movement is not a significant factor. It can tolerate a rather strong flow but slow-moving water will be more favorable for feeding.
Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom
It is an active swimmer spending some time in free swimming and a good deal of time darting in and out of the crevices in the decor.
Social Behaviors: The South Sea Demoiselle can be kept in a fish only aquarium. It can also do well in a reef as it will not harm any live corals, but it may attack small inverts like live shrimps. Provide a tank that is well decorated with rocks/ corals and many hiding places.
Damselfish can be housed with a variety of tank mates but because damsels become more aggressive as they mature, smaller or very weak fish are not recommended. Fish types that could be at risk include tiny juveniles of butterflyfish and Centropyge angelfish, cardinalfish, etc. Be careful if you are putting more than two specimens of this species together even if there are many hiding places, as they may fight. Larger tough butterflyfish, wrasses, and somewhat aggressive damselfish (except the same genus), etc. can be good tank mates, but even still this damsel may attack or chase these fish. Very territorial, larger dottybacks, and such fish as sea basses that will eat anything, are not recommended if the tank is not large enough.
Sex: Sexual differences: These fish are sexually dimorphic. The male has a blue dorsal fin while most parts of the female's dorsal fin are yellow, getting translucent posteriorly. In the same manner as other members of the genus, a male will move rapidly with gorgeous coloration to attract and invite a female to spawn
Breeding/Reproduction: There are sporadic mentions of this fish spawning in hobbyist's aquariums, but there are no documented reports for its reproductive behavior. Though there is no commercial aquatic cultivation at this time, it may be cultivated in larger laboratories in the near future.
In the wild, male damselfish establish a territory and prepare surfaces of rubble or coral for females to deposit their adhesive eggs. Once the eggs are laid the male will quickly fertilize them and aggressively defend the eggs from any intruders until they hatch.
For more information on the breeding of damselfish, see Marine Fish Breeding: Damselfish.
Availability: The South Sea Demoiselle or Fiji Blue Devil Damsel regularly appears at retailers from younger to larger specimens, but most available are below 2.8 inches (7 cm). These fish are priced around $10.00 USD.
When purchasing these damselfish pick similar sized active specimens that have had a few days to acclimate in the retailers aquarium, and that are at least 3/4 inches. Very small species (under 3/4 inch) are rarely obtainable and often not very durable, larger species can be aggressive.