Lemon Damsel (species: Pomacentrus moluccensis) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Pomacentrus moluccensis
Lemon Damsel

©Andy Lewis: An adult Lemon Damsel

©Andy Lewis: A group of Lemon Damsel around a head of branching Acropora coral.

©Andy Lewis: Newly settled Lemon Damsel recruits above a head of branching Acropora coral.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Pomacentridae
Genus Pomacentrus
Species Pomacentrus moluccensis



Distinguishing features

A small damselfish with a bright yellow body, never with an ocellus on the dorsal fin.


  • Up to 10 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Found in all habitats where hard corals are present.

Found in most locations around the Island.


The Lemon Damsel is very common at Lizard Island, where it is easily seen due to its very bright colouration and habit of living close to branching corals in nearly all reef habitats. This species is an excellent generalist, able to feed on both plankton or turf algae as the opportunity arises. This species usually recruits in December and January, and the newly settled fishes are also found close to Acroporid corals.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Streit, R.P. and D.R. Bellwood (2017). High prevalence of homing behaviour among juvenile coral-reef fishes and the role of body size, Coral Reefs, 36(4): 1083-1095. LIRS catalog number 2091.

Other references

  • Abdulla, A. (2004). Predator-prey interactions in coral reef fish: the implications of predation risk on the behaviour and growth of prey, Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University. LIRS catalog number 1296.
  • Almany, G.R. (2004). Priority effects in coral reef fish communities of the Great Barrier Reef, Ecology, 85: 2872-2880. LIRS catalog number 879.
  • View all references