Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)


Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)

Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)

The Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Japanese Damselfish, Javanese Devil Damsel, Blue Streak Devil, Blue Streak Damselfish, Java Damselfish, and Bluebanded Damselfish are found in the Western Pacific Ocean from Indonesia to the Philippines, Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and Fiji.

Blue Velvet Damselfish are mostly found in shallow lagoons and coral reef flats around heads of Acropora where they shelter at depths between 1 to 15 feet. A diurnal species, they are very active during the day and shelter in the corals to avoid being eaten by predators at night.

Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)

Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)

Juvenile Paraglyphidodon oxyodon have a dark blue to almost black body color, with one large white to yellow vertical stripe in the middle of the flank, and 2 to 3 small light blue to blue green stripes running from head to tail.  Adult Paraglyphidodon oxyodon lose their georgous colors and are mostly brown to grayish black.

Because of their tenaciously aggressive personalities and large adult size; Blue Velvet Damselfish are great additions to aggressive FOLR aquariums with larger species.

Although they will not harm corals or sessile invertebrates, Blue Velvet Damselfish will quickly intimidate and bully the more peaceful species normally housed in a reef aquarium environment.   A single specimen can be housed in as small as a 30 gallon tank, but an aquarium of at least 55 gallon capacity with a sandy or fine coralline substrate and plenty of live rock arranged into caves, crevices, and overhangs for them to hide among, and plenty of free swimming space is recommended.

Successfully housing Blue Velvet Damselfish increases dramatically when they are provided with plenty of live rock and swimming room to establish and adequate territory in the aquarium.  The shelter provides a sense of security that reduces aggression towards other members in the tank.   Keeping this in mind, Blue Velvet Damselfish will easily coexist with large Angelfish, larger Tangs, Triggerfish, Eels, Sharks, and even small Groupers in a large Fish Only Live Rock (FOLR) community environment.

Because they are easily susceptible to ich and other diseases; this damselfish species requires stable, pristine quality water parameters in order to thrive, remain in good health, and remain disease free.

Paraglyphidodon oxyodon have not been bred in an aquarium environment.   In their natural habitat, males establish a territory near a rock, shell, or piece of coral and clean it for a nesting site. The male courts the female with a type of “dance” until she accepts him as a mate. Females then lay their adhesive eggs on the cleaned substrate and the male fertilizes them. The male will remove any infertile eggs and guard the nest while constantly aerating the eggs until they hatch out.   During the reproductive process that usually lasts about 20 minutes, a single female can lay up to 20,000 eggs which take from 3 days to a week to hatch. Males frequently spawn with several females. The hatched larvae drift away with the current as plankton, feeding on zooplankton and phytoplankton for up to 50 days before finally settling to the bottom.

Blue Velvet Damselfish are aggressive omnivores that in their natural habitat feed primarily on filamentous algae and zooplankton. In an aquarium environment they should be fed a variety of meaty foods with vegetable based foods and marine algae in their diet. They are aggressive feeders that will consume a wide variety of commercial fresh, frozen, and freeze dried preparations such as Mysis shrimp, Spirulina, brine shrimp, Prime Reef, Angelfish Formula I & II, etc.   Feed them what they can consume in a couple of minutes several times a day rather than a single feeding.

Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon) are extremely hardy and readily available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts from tropical fish shops and a multitude of online sources at approximate purchase sizes of Small: 3/4″ to 1-1/4″; Medium: 1-1/4″ to 1-3/4″; Large: 1-3/4″ to 2 -1/2″.

Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)

Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)






Minimum Tank Size: 55 gallons for single or pair/ 100 gallons for community
Aquarium Type: Reef, FOLR
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Very Hardy
Water Conditions: 72-78°F, dKH 8 to 12 , pH 8.1 – 8.4, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 6″
Color Form: Black, Blue, White
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Aggressive Fish Only
Origin: Western Pacific, Indonesia, Fiji
Family: Pomacanthidae
Lifespan: 5 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner


2 Responses to “Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)”


  1. […] Blue Velvet Damselfish; the spawning cycle of Yellowtail Damselfish typically begins at sunrise and lasts approximately […]

  2. […] Blue Velvet Damselfish (Paraglyphidodon oxyodon)   Blue Sapphire Damselfish form distinct pairs when spawning. Male damselfish typically establish […]

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