Blackaxil Puller (species: Chromis atripectoralis) in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Chromis atripectoralis
Blackaxil Puller

©Andy Lewis: An adult Blackaxil Puller.

©Andy Lewis: A pair of Blackaxil Puller, with the male on the right.

©Andy Lewis: A school of newly settled Blackaxil Puller juveniles in an Acropora coral
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Pomacentridae
Genus Chromis
Species Chromis atripectoralis



Distinguishing features

A small blue to pale green fish with irridescent markings. The black spot on the base of the pectoral fin distinguishes this species from the closely related but smaller C. viridis. Forms schools above branching coral.


  • Up to 10 cm (Length according to Allen et al (2003).)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.


Similar taxa


©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Generally seen in shallow reef flat and lagoonal habitats, schooling above branching coral.

Found in most locations around the Island.


The Blackaxil Puller feeds on zooplankton taken directly from the water column. These fish are closely related to the Blue-green Puller, but the latter usually form tighter schools, and there is also some difference in the colouration of the male fish when involved in spawning activities. Chromis atripectoralis form somewhat more diffuse schools when feeding, and the males court single females and entice them to deposit eggs on top of heads of massive coral.

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen, G., R. Steene, P. Humann and N. Deloach (2003). Reef fish identification: Tropical Pacific New World Publications Inc., Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Other references

  • Bay, L.K. (2005). The population genetic structure of coral reef fishes on the Great Barrier Reef, Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University. LIRS catalog number 967.
  • Bay, L.K., R.H. Crozier and M.J. Caley (2006). The relationship between population genetic structure and pelagic larval duration in coral reef fishes on the Great Barrier Reef, Marine Biology, 149: 1247-1256. LIRS catalog number 1002.
  • View all references