neon blue spotted fish id

Mexico Water Pix 2010 176.JPG

I am new (3 years) to snorkeling in Mexico. What is the fish in the lower left side of my picture with the neon blue spots that look like lights? They are difficult to photograph because they dart away and under cover very quickly. Very small fish but stunning. Thanks!

neon blue spots

well, hope you're still around and looking for the answer, but I believe you are looking at a yellowtail damselfish.

keep sending those pics! I miss diving in Mexico!

neon blue spots

The spots are actually white.  I've attached a little better photo below, taken in the BVI.  You can see it does not have a yellow or clear tail.  I've looked at photos of the yellow-tail damsel and the spots and body shape are different.  I think the mystery still stands.

Nice shots of the spots

I saw that fish while snorkeling in Barbados a few weeks ago. Was wondering what it was too. I saw a bigger version of it that still had spots too. Will check my videos and hope for a decent capture

Did it have a yellow tail?

Do you remember if it had a yellow tail? And the size? There are a few juvenile damsels with neon blue spots, but ... Because these spots are far apart from each other and it looks like an adult damsel judging from the size of the smallmouth grunts, I think fishheadboy is correct in saying this is a Yellowtail Damselfish.

neon blue spotted fish

No, they didn't have yellow tails. The overall color was a really dark blue or perhaps black with the neon blue spots all over them. They appeared to be 3 inches long of the larger ones. Only a few together at a time. Very nervous fish as they darted into hiding and were hard to photograph.

Yellow Tail Damselfish Juvenile

Yes, I agree with fishheadboy. Seems to me that this is a juvenile yellow tail damselfish. As a juvenile their spots are very bright and sometimes will have a clear tail -- as an intermediate the tail will become yellow.

The image does not seem to

The image does not seem to have posted, nor can I find instructions for doing so (it doesn't have a URL).  If someone wants to tell me how or is willing to have me e-mail it to them, I'd appreciate it.

Re: neon blue spots all over them ~ Have a blurry photo


Hey All,

For two days, I chased this little guy around a coral head right off Seven Mile Beach in Grand Cayman.  The attached photos are the best I could catch.  The fish darted about so quickly, I feel luckly I got these blury photos.  I have scoured the web looking for an ID for this one with no luck.  Am hoping someone here can help.  It was absolutely gorgeous.  Am heading back in May to GCI and Little Cayman.  Am planning to head to the same reef and shoot a bit faster in hope of getting a worthy shot.

Thanks for anyone's help in its ID.

Regards ~ gmo




baby yellowtail damselfish

Your little fish is definitely a juvenile yellowtail damselfish. As they get older, their clear tails turn yellow and the body turns dark/drab and the spots fade. The juvies are often called "jewel damsel" in the aquarium trade, for obvious reasons!

Definitely a yellowtail

Definitely a yellowtail damsel juvenile, and yes, they are hard to get a pic of.


Erin J. Burge Coastal Carolina University Marine Science

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