Sunday, 22 May 2016

KML Week One: Yellowtailed Damselfish

Hey y'all had a great time at KML this week got to see lots of marine life I haven't seen before. It couldn't have been a better experience and so far the best part of this adventure. We had to research a animal that we saw this week while snorkeling and I chose the Yellowtailed Damselfish also known as Chrysiptera parasema. I chose it because the species interests me and also I have done research with them before, But by doing this I got to learn some interesting new facts.

What I learned was the coloration on the species of fish ranges during the juvenile to adult years. The juvenile years have the coloration of blue with white spots on its body and white tail. During the transitions years into an adult the coloration changes from white spots to blue spots and the yellow tail color is developed. When the species reaches adult years the body color changes to a dark blue almost brown color, the head sometimes can take on a yellow color but not all the time. The blue spots can still be seen but they are more prominent on the top of the fish instead of all over the body, the coloring of the tails also becomes a more pronounced yellow color.  The damselfish reaches maturity at the age of three and can grow from 15 to 30 centimeters long.

This species is considered reef associated, it can be found in inshore coral reefs and sheltered lagoons. They are known to be found accompanying spaces above and around Acropora corals, at depths up to 3-52 feet. The damselfish is known to be found in the Western Pacific, in the waters of Philippines, Solomon Island and Ryukyu Islands.  Damselfish are known to be a territorial species that will chase other species of fish including other damsels out of its habitat. They will chase and lunge at anything that they believe will harm their patch of algae or eggs that have been laid.

Some interesting facts about the Yellowtailed Damselfish is it can change its gender based on the need for it at any given time for instance like mating. If a male is needed and all there is in the territory is a female, a female damselfish will change its gender to male to accommodate the shortage. Another fact is some genus of damselfish makes a clicking/purring sound during mating seasons which are in the spring and summer. And lastly females can lay up to 20,000 eggs during a spawning season and it’s the males that will defend the patch of territory with everything they have. They also oxygenate the eggs by fanning them with their fins from time to time.

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