Parma victoriae

Parma victoriae - Scalyfin (Family Pomacentridae)

Size: 25 cm

Distribution: All SA coastal and gulf waters

Habitat: Rocky reef

Depth: Subtidal to 10+ metres

Parma victoriae - Scalyfin (Family Pomacentridae)
Parma victoriae - Scalyfin (Family Pomacentridae)

Related to the tropical damselfishes, this species is the gardener of the rocky reef, carefully cultivating the microalgae that grows on their patch of rock, and aggressively guarding its territory from tresspassers. As an adult, it is a drab yellowish or blueish grey to black in colour and often counter-shaded with a lighter lower half. It has a pale bar on its operculum and a prominent lateral line. Juveniles are more colourful, with lines of electric blue spots along it's yellow to orange body, and a large blue margined ocellus under the rear of its dorsal fin. It bears a vague resemblance to the Bigscale Bullseye (Pempheris multiradiata), but has much smaller eyes, and rounded anal fin and tail lobes.