Staghorn Damsel (species: Amblyglyphidodon curacao) in taxonomy (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Amblyglyphidodon curacao
Staghorn Damsel

©Lyle Vail: Amblyglyphidodon curacao at North Point, Lizard Island.

©Andy Lewis: An adult Staghorn Damsel

©Andy Lewis: An adult Staghorn Damsel showing the 3 dark vertical bars
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Pomacentridae
Genus Amblyglyphidodon
Species Amblyglyphidodon curacao



Distinguishing features

A small silvery-green fish with a deep laterally compressed body and distinct silver scale margins. The tail has black edges and three darker vertical bars are sometimes present.


  • Up to 11 cm (Standard length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Distribution and habitat preferences

Favours areas of rich coral growth in with good current flow, however this species is found in almost all reef habitats around the island.

Found in most locations around the Island.


The Staghorn Damsel is a common plankton feeding damselfish found near coral rich areas. They are usually seen singly or in broadly spaced groups of 2-10 fish, often over the top of staghorn Acropora coral. They feed on planktonic crustaceans and drift algae. Reproduction occurs over the summer months, and males maintain a benthic nest site on an exposed branch of dead Staghorn coral where multiple females may deposit eggs.

Web resources


  • Arnal, C. (2000). Ecologie comportementale de la symbiose poisson nettoyeur/ poisson client: motivations et honnĂȘtetĂ©, Ph.D. thesis, University of Perpignan, France. LIRS catalog number 637.
  • 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., K. Buechler, M. Gagliano and M.J. Caley (2006). Intraspecific variation in the pelagic larval duration of tropical reef fishes, Journal of Fish Biology, 68: 1206-1214. LIRS catalog number 958.
  • View all references