Yellowtail Damsel

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Chrysiptera parasema - (Fowler, 1918)
Yellowtail Damsel

A highly popular marine aquarium species, but a bit too aggressive for small community tanks. Scott W. Michael


A marine aquarium classic, this is a wonderful species that is durable, colorful and not a bully.

Family: Pomacentridae

Other common name(s):

  • Yellowtail Blue Damsel, Yellowtail Damselfish
  • Goldtail Demoiselle

Native range:

Habitat: Reef, over and within thickets of branching Acropora corals. Provide with numerous sheltering hideouts.

Maximum length: 7.1 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Mid-level.


Omnivore. Feed meaty and algae-based foods at least once a day. Color-enhancing foods can help it maintain its bright colors.

Aquarium Compatibility

The Yellowtail Damsel can be kept with less aggressive species, but it is best to add this damselfish to the tank last. In ­smaller quarters, it has been known to pester smaller fishes and is not a good choice for a nano-reef with any shy or passive tankmates. A small group can be kept in the same tank—males may quarrel, so add several smaller individuals and a single larger specimen (the males tend to be larger than the females).


It will readily spawn in the home aquarium, although raising the larval young requires expert care and feeding.


The Yellowtail Damsel is primarily a zooplankton feeder that spends much of its time swimming just above the aquarium bottom looking for food. This species poses no threat to ornamental invertebrates and is an excellent choice for the reef aquarium.

Reference: The 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM