ID juvenile


Notice blue marking around dorsal spot, blue and black spot on saddle of tail and blue dots on snout unlike photo in ID book of Threespot Damsel. Also dorsal spot not on body like that of Rock Beauty. Photo taken off Islamorada on patch reef <50 feet. Any ideas?

Oh Damsels!

Hey Carlos here's my non-expert 2 cents: First I think it is safe to leave out Rock Beauty (though similar juvi). So it looks to me exactly like the Threespot damsel in my ID book, except of course as you pointed out it has those Cocoa Damsel, or Beaugregory blue spots not only on the face but surrounding the back and tail spots. Can a Threespot have those sometimes? I don't know. Can these species produce hybrids? don't know.
There's a few posts on here of Damsels not looking quite right. Since I don't know any better I say a Threespot and a Cocoa had a baby.

And another thing I noticed is no dark spot (area) at base of pectoral fin (which is another ID mark for threespot)

Threespot Damselfish

We have similar colored ones here (in the Bahamas) that used to confuse me. After a bit of research I found out they were Threespot Damselfish, Stegastes planifrons.

Some references erroneously report rounded fins as a key character for the Threespot Damsel. While this may be true with adults we can see it isn't always true with juveniles. Your juvenile and this one both have pointed anal fins:
Deep Sea Images

Rock Beauty are the opposite. They have pointed anal (and dorsal) fins as adults and rounded fins as juveniles.

Oops, I'm almost forgot. Here's a link to a page that has a photo of a similarly colored Threespot Damsel: Damsel Juv.
Scroll to the bottom photo on the page and you'll see: "Photos which I had no room to include in the text". Last on this list is "Juvenile Threespot Damselfish"!

Threespot Damsel juvi

Louis, there is no doubt that the photo on the link you provided from your trip to the Flower Gardens is the same fish. I like livi120's observation of a Threespot and a Cocoa hybrid. In either case I really appreciate the input and I'm thrilled to know others that are just as interested in the underwater world and fish as I am.

3-spot damsel

don't forget the yellow/gold arch over the eyes. Look closely and you can see it even on this yellow bodied juvenille.

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