Domino Damsel

Three-spot Dascyllus ~ Three-spot Damsel

Family: Pomacentridae Picture of a Domino Damsel or Three-spot Damsel, Dascyllus trimaculatusDascyllus trimaculatusPhoto © Animal-World: Courtesy Greg Rothschild
Latest Reader Comment - See More
I have a domino in my community tank and he's been a bit strange lately, he or she is been rubbing up against a Tang and breathing very hard and quickly... (more)  pheonix

  These damsels are often called the Domino Damsel because of their juvenile coloration which imitates a "domino".

   As juveniles they have a distinct white spot on the forehead and a prominent white spot on the upper side. In a mature Three-spot Dascyllus or Domino Damsel, the marks will most likely disappear or leave just a remnant spot on the side.

For more Information on keeping this fish see:
Guide to a Happy, Healthy Marine Aquarium


Geographic Distribution
Dascyllus trimaculatus
Data provided by FishBase.org
  • Kingdom: Animalia
  • Phylum: Chordata
  • Class: Actinopterygii
  • Order: Perciformes
  • Family: Pomacentridae
  • Genus: Dascyllus
  • Species: trimaculatus

Habitat: Natural geographic location:    Domino Damsel or Three-spot Dascyllus are found in the Western Pacific and the Indo-West Pacific from eastern Africa and the Red Sea to the islands of Oceania. It is not found in Hawaii or the Marquesas Islands. They are found at depths between 3 - 180 feet (1 - 55 meters), and inhabit coral and rocky reefs.

Status:    These fish are not listed on the IUCN Red List.

Maintenance difficulty:    The Domino Damsel or Three-spot Dascyllus is among the easiest of all marine fish to keep.

Maintenance:    This fish will readily eat all kinds of live, frozen, and flake foods and algae. Finely chopped meaty foods (like brine shrimp) can be fed regularly. It is best to feed small amounts several times a day. In a reef situation they don't really need to be fed very often at all.

Foods:    All kinds. See maintenance above.

Social Behaviors:    Like all damselfish, they can be territorial and aggressive, especially as they get older. Can be kept together and with other larger fish but watch them closely to be sure their aggression doesn't become destructive.
   Young Domino Damsels will often live in a comensal relationship with anemones like the one shown here.

Sex: Sexual differences:    Not Known.

Light: Recommended light levels:    No special requirements.

Breeding/Reproduction:    Some of the damselfish have been bred in captivity.
   For more information on the breeding of damselfish, see Marine Fish Breeding: Damselfish.

Picture of a Domino Damsel or Three-spot Damsel, Dascyllus trimaculatusPhoto courtesy: Joe D

Temperature:    No special requirements.

Length/Diameter of fish:    Domino Damsel or Three-spot Dascyllus adults can grow to 11.0 cm ( 4.3 inches).

Minimum Tank Length/Size:    A minimum 20 gallon aquarium is recommended.

Water Movement: Weak, Moderate, Strong    No special requirements.

Water Region: Top, Middle, Bottom    Swims at all levels of the aquarium.

Availability:    This fish is almost always available.

Author: David Brough. CFS.
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Lastest Animal Stories on Domino Damsel

pheonix - 2010-07-05
I have a domino in my community tank and he's been a bit strange lately, he or she is been rubbing up against a Tang and breathing very hard and quickly yesterday day I noticed it going crazy rubbing up against a rock. When I had a closer inspection, I realized it had a tub like organ coming out next to the anus its been squirting something on the rock and when I had another look today the rock was covered in what I think are eggs, I don't have any other domino in there to fertilize them, is this rare or has this happened to anyone else before? Please let me know.

  • Ranendra Dey - 2013-02-02
    ''From my viewpoint and experience this is the symbol of egg laying, the fishes who have no male can lay unfertile eggs due to overburden of their abdomen.
  • Jacques - 2013-12-21
    My domino damsels spawned yesterday, I found what looked like 1000 small white eggs attached to the glass, while one of the parents were guarding fiercely. Today I siphoned about 5 out with a syringe and looked at them under a microscope, 3 of them were moving inside occasionally and measured 0.3 mm across. I have set up a quarantine tank and will probably move them across to that tank tomorrow, don't want the other fish to eat them, or have them going through the stumps filtration.
Reply
Kimberly - 2003-07-29
From my experience..my damsels are only aggressive with their kind. My domino damsels dont' attack the Sgt. Maj. and vice versa, but they will attack each other.

Reply
Tracy - 2006-02-02
We have 2 dominos and they both love our anemones. We thought that strange till we saw your picture.

  • Pam - 2013-03-17
    To my surprise, I too had my Domino Damsel get into my anemone. I noticed it allowing the anemone to sting it on several occasions and it would defend the anemone. I thought this unusual until I saw this picture. So is this normal for this species of Damsel? And what will happen to my Maroon Clown when it wants to join in? Thank you.
Reply
Sharon Say - 2010-09-12
Should I be concerned over my domino turning gray, almost whitish even? I'v got three and they all seem to be turning pale. But they're all eating and moving fine. Thanks!

  • chris - 2011-01-11
    The domino I had also did this on occasion. I found out it was normal for them. Different situations and moods. He would be dark one minute and lighter the next. I kept searching for ICH since he was my first saltwater fish but it wasn't that. I finally had to get rid of him as he wouldn't even tolerate the corals I tried to place, lol. He would push them off the ledge every time. Have you heard the grinding growling noise they make yet?
  • Dido Ortiz - 2011-04-05
    Mine is large, have had him for about a year and a half now and I too have heard the grunting/growling noise he makes, I hear him chasing the other fish around but luckily they are smaller and faster so he kinda gives up or gets mad lol, I would like to capture a vid to share with everyone... that will be my task for the next few days :)
  • David Brough - 2011-04-24
    Hi Dido, did you ever get that video? I'd love to see it.
Reply
leslie [spud] - 2008-06-29
i have two damsels [two years old]. they have gotten on fine with each other and all of the other fish. one seems to be turning grey [almost see-through] or silver at times. seems healthy. any feedback would be appreciated.

  • Brenda - 2010-05-10
    Mine is turning grey also. I thought something was wrong with him. Maybe not?
  • Rebecca - 2010-12-06
    I have two and one of mine has been turning grey and was swimming in front of the other one funny, then i read somewhere that they could be a pair, making the one that turns grey the male. . . . They might be trying to breed. .
Reply

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