Beaugregory or Cocoa?

Images: 

I think these are beaugregory, despite the black spot on the tail base. Divemasters said they were cocoa damselfish ( I can understand why due to the clear spot on base of tail).

But I was spotting adult Beugregory in the same area, combined with the loication of North Carolina in late September leads me to think that the juvenile is also a Beaugregory.

I did not get a good shot of the adult, but I think this is good enough for a posative ID (look at the snout).

cocoa damselfish

I have found that the caudal peduncle (upper tail base) spot is diagnostic for cocoa damselfish, especially when it is obvious like this one. Adults are hard to differentiate. Cocoa damselfish are known to occur along the eastern seaboard, and, in genera, the northern distribution should not be used for species ID since larvae are swept up from Florida and occasional individuals of the really warm water species can show up, in even in New York.

Purple Reeffish?

Could that second photo be an adult purple reeffish?  If the fins are yellower than the look in the photo, then I wouldn't say that.  I know purple reeffish aren't supposed to be common to your area, but maybe you should look at some photos.  I wouldn't even bring it up, but where I live in north Florida they are supposed to be pretty uncommon, but we've had a huge population explosion in the last couple of years.  The first photo is definitely cocoa damselfish.  First because of the dark spot on the base of the tail that is like a "cocoa" puff.  Then because of the lines on the scales that almost form bars.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.
Design by Joanne Kidd, development by Ben Weintraub