Chrysiptera talboti

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Common Name
Talbot's Demoiselle
Binomial Name
Chrysiptera talboti
20080405 talbot.jpg
Scientific Classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Pomacentridae
Genus: Chrysiptera
Species: talboti

Common Names

  • Talbot's Demoiselle
  • Talbot's Damsel



Talbot's Demoiselle has fairly distinct colouration, allowing easy recognition; It has a purplish to grey body. The head and pelvic fins are yellow. There is a large black spot on the base of the dorsal fin.

Similar Species


Maximum Size

To about 6-7cm maximum length. Most are smaller - achieving less than 5cm in length.

Associated Organisms



In the wild, they are usually seen solitary (adults) or in small groups (juvenile). They typically remain close to shelter, darting in and out between coral and rockwork.

Captive Care

Tank Size

A small fish that does not require a large tank when kept alone. However, due to territoriality, if more than one damsel is kept, allow for multiple territories by keeping a maximum of one damsel per 75L of display volume.

Water Flow

A very nimble fish, easily capable of handling the extremes of flow currently favoured by SPS keepers.




In the wild, feeds on zooplankton a short distance from the bottom. In captivity are easily trained to take a wide range of prepared, frozen/defrosted and dry foods of small size.

Growth Rate

A quick grower to about 4cm in length, slower thereafter.


A very tough fish - tolerant of poor water conditions, resistant to disease and copes with collection and transport well.






Small damsels form a large part of the diet of many larger fish and invertebrates - use common sense!


Talbot's are reef safe.




Reproduce via substrate spawning (similar to clownfish). The male will either dig a small hollow or take up residence in a small cave (eg. empty mollusc shell) or other structure with a suitable surface for the female to deposit her eggs on.

The male will clean and prepare the selected site after which aggression and territory defence is intense - this is especially true after the eggs have been deposited. The male will attract a female to his territory (a lot of to-ing and fro-ing will follow as the female makes multiple return trips, in between which the male fertilises each batch of eggs). During this period, the male will also acquire a shimmering deep purple 'blotch' between the dorsal fin and tail.

Eggs will hatch within about a week. Fry (larvae) are immediately 'free-swimming' (but in reality simply act as a drifting plankton) tending toward the surface where they are invariably skimmed from the display. Some sources suggest that in the wild they remain in this form for many weeks making captive breeding challenging.

Local Ecology


This species inhabits coral reefs of the Western Pacific.

In Australia, Talbot's Demoiselle is known from the offshore reefs of north-western Western Australia and the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef.


Inhabits coral-rich areas of seaward reef slopes and deep lagoons. Found at depths of 3 to 35 meters.

Additional Information