threespot damselfish

Scientific name Stegastes planifrons
Descriptor Cuvier
Year of description 1830
IUCN category LC
Family Pomacentridae
Genus Stegastes
Stegastes planifrons Stegastes planifrons


Stegastes planifrons, commonly known as threespot damselfish, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    11 cm
  • Maximum size
    13 cm
  • Longevity
    4 year
  • Shape
  • Average size
    11 cm
  • Maximum size
    13 cm
  • Longevity
    4 year
  • Shape

How to recognize the threespot damselfish ?

The threespot damselfish measures around 11 cm. The dominant males can however reach 13 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly marron and gris body.

Sexual dimorphism

The adult male is bigger than the female.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
    living as a couple or in a group
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The threespot damselfish is a fish living as a couple or in a group naturally found near the bottom. This species is omnivorous .

The threespot damselfish is a territorial animal that does not tolerate any incursions into its living area. It is particularly virulent against other territorial species and it can provoke heated fights. In a constant quest for dominance, the dominant males of this species cannot stand each other. The battle between two individuals can be intense and violent. It will result in the submission and sometimes even death of one of the protagonists.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert
  • Hermaphrodite

The threespot damselfish is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert. This fish always born male. Growing up, individuals will change sex to become female, this is called successive hermaphroditism of the protandrous type.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    22 - 28 °C
  • Depth
    1 - 30 m
  • Flow

Biotope presentation

The threespot damselfish is most often found at a depth between 1m and 30m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope


Not recommended

We do not recommend keeping this species in an aquarium. It has unpredictable needs which, if not met, generate significant stress, potentially leading to a shorter life expectancy, an interruption of its growth or the development of pathogens.

To go further

Species of the same family

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

Bibliographic references

The Whitetail Damselfish (Family Pomacentridae), Stegastes leucorus (Gilbert, 1892), New to California Marine Waters with a Key to the California Species of Pomacentridae - Milton S. Love - William Power - Southern California Academy of Sciences - 2016.

THE LIVING MARINE RESOURCES OF THE EASTERN CENTRAL ATLANTIC - Milton S. Love - William Power - FAO Fisheries Synopsis - 0.

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Species of the same family

Same genus

Species of the same biotope

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