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Text and photos by Nick Baker, unless credited to others.
Copyright ゥ Ecology Asia 2024







Yellow-banded Damsel

Fig 1

Fig 2

Fig 3

Fig 4






Order : Uncertain
Species : Dischistodus fasciatus
Maximum Length : to at least 11 cm

Dischistodus fasciatus (Yellow-banded Damsel) thrives in a wide range of coastal habitats including seagrass beds, near-shore reefs and silty lagoons (Allen, 1997). Juveniles can be found in shallow, coral-dominated, intertidal habitats where small hiding spaces may provide shelter (see WildSingapore).

Pictured here are adult examples from Sentosa Cove, Singapore, which is a man-made boating lagoon with silty substrate; the area supports some long-bladed seagrass growth. Of those boating marinas surveyed in the south and west of Singapore, this species was only found at Sentosa Cove (Toh et al, 2016); this marina lies close to coral-dominated habitats.

This damsel has a robust body, which is dark brown with three pale yellow, broad, vertical bars extending from the top of the head and dorsum to the middle part of the flanks; there is also a fourth smaller bar at the base of the tail. The tail fin is forked, with each lobe strongly rounded, and the dorsal fin extends along much of its back. Its snout is short and blunt.

This species feeds on organic detritus and algal growth. During the breeding season, males and females tend to remain in a close pair, with fertilised eggs being affixed to the substrate. Males guard and aerate the eggs (see Fishbase).

The range of Dischistodus fasciatus is limited to Southeast Asia, northern Australia and the western Pacific Ocean.  

Figs 1 to 3 : Adult examples from the marina at Sentosa Cove, Singapore, seen feeding on long-bladed seagrass and other flora. Close by to this small group were a pair of Kite Butterflyfish (Parachaetodon ocellatus).

Fig 4 : Sentosa Cove, Singapore; the substrate of the marina is silty and supports small clumps of long-bladed seagrass at the margins of the lagoon. Most easily visible fish fauna lurks beneath the boardwalks and jetties.

References :

Allen, G. 1997. Marine Fishes of Southeast Asia. Western Australian Museum. 3rd Edition. 292 pp.

Toh, K. B., Ng, C. S. L., Leong, W. K. G., Jaafar, Z. & Chou, L. M. (2016). Assemblages and diversity of fishes in Singapore's marinas. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology. Supplement no. 32: 85-94.

Links :

- Fishbase

- WildSingapore