Talbot’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti)

Talbot's Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti)

Talbot’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti)

Talbot’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti) known to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts as Talbot’s demoiselle or Peach Damsel are distributed throughout the Indian and Western Pacific Oceans and range from the Andaman Sea in the Indian Ocean to Fiji, north to Palau, south to the Great Barrier Reef, and recently recorded from Tonga.

Adult Talbot’s Damselfish are usually found as solitary individuals among mixed corals and patches of coral rubble in coral rich areas of deep lagoons and seaward reef slopes at depths from 6 to 110 feet where they feed on zooplankton just above the bottom.   Juveniles are often found in small groups among coral heads and rubble in shallower water.

Like Rolland’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera rollandi), Talbot’s Damselfish are a peaceful, non-migratory, reef dependent species that feed on small planktonic crustaceans (copepods, mysis, and shrimp larvae), fish eggs, and algae among the substrate and corals during daylight hours, and shelter among the coral branches during the night for protection from predators.

Talbot's Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti)

Talbot’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti)

Talbot’s Damselfish have a distinct look that is hard to confuse with any other damselfish species.   They have a fleshy pink body with a beautiful canary yellow face, forehead, and ventral fins, and a large black eye spot (ocellaris) centered at the rear of its dorsal fin. Although the body color is commonly a pale mauve, fleshy pink, or black (in Fiji); it is variable and dependent on the area of collection.   The body colors can range from pink or pinkish purple, to gray or darker, accented with yellow pelvic fins but they retain the yellow face and large black spot on the middle of the dorsal fin.

Talbot’s Damselfish are best housed in a mature FOWLR or reef aquarium of at least 30 gallon capacity with a sand or fine gravel substrate and plenty of live rock arranged into crevices, caves, and overhangs for them to hide hide from more aggressive tank mates. Talbot’s Damselfish are completely reef safe and will not disturb corals or invertebrates in a reef tank.   Although solitary individuals will occasionally become territorial towards their own kind or similar sized fish, they will generally hide and ignore other fish in a peaceful species tank.

Due to their generally peaceful, almost docile nature, small size, and hardiness; Talbot’s Damselfish are highly recommended for beginning tropical fish keeping enthusiasts.

Although Talbot’s Damselfish have been bred in captivity, the larvae are difficult to rear. Mated pairs follow a benthic egg laying cycle. After first clearing a site on the substrate ready for a nest, the pair will engage in a brief courtship “dance” with rapid swimming and fin movements. During this time the males often turn a shade or two darker and may display white blotches.

Spawning normally occurs at dawn. After the female deposits her demersal. adhesive, eggs and the male fertilizes them; he fiercely guards and aerates them until they hatch out. The tiny fry in their larval stage will drift with the current as plankton feeding on zooplankton and phytoplankton before settling to the bottom as partially developed damselfish. Males will occasionally mate with multiple females during the spawning season.

In their natural habitat Talbot’s Damselfish are omnivores that are typically found just off the bottom foraging on zooplankton and algae among corals and rock rubble.

In an aquarium environment they need a diet rich in greens and meaty foods. They will accept flakes and pellets containing Spirulina and should be offered live, frozen, and freeze dried brine shrimp, finely chopped mysis, squid, fresh fish, clam, shrimp, and plant material several times daily.

Talbot’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti) are occasionally available to tropical fish keeping enthusiasts in specialty fish shops and online from wholesalers, trans shippers, and retailers at reasonable prices at approximate purchase sizes: 3/4″ to 1-1/4″

Talbot's Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti)

Talbot’s Damselfish (Chrysiptera talboti)






Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons
Aquarium Type: Reef or FOLR
Care Level: Easy
Temperament: Semi Aggressive
Aquarium Hardiness: Hardy
Water Conditions: 72-82°F, dKH 8 to 12 , pH 8.0 – 8.5, sg 1.020-1.025
Max. Size: 2.5″
Color Form: Black, Pink, Yellow
Diet: Omnivore
Compatibility: Reef
Origin: Indo-Pacific, Coral Sea, Indian Ocean, Fiji
Family: Pomacentridae
Lifespan: 3-5 years
Aquarist Experience Level: Beginner

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