RSS Chrysiptera papuensis, C. ellenae & C. maurineae – three new damselfish from East Indies

MASA Admin

8 May 2007
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We’ve already posted our Top 15 New Reef Fish Species of 2015 but we should have held out for one more week. Prolific fish namers Gerald Allen and Marc Erdmann have gone an published one more paper this year, this time describing three new species of damselfish from Eastern Indonesia.

Chrysiptera ellenae, C. maurineae and C. papuensis are the three newcomers to the large and diverse family of damselfishes, from Raja Ampat, Cenderawasih Bay and Papua New Guinea respectively. The three new species of Chrysiptera are all known forms of C. oxycephala, a common aquarium fish often imported from greater Indonesia and the Philippines.


The natural distribution of all the damselfish in the Chrysiptera oxycephala complex including C. maurineae, C. ellenae, C. papuensis and C. sinclairi

Ellen’s, Maurine’s, and the Papua damselfish each have their own distinct color pattern as juveniles, which changes to an even more specific appearance as the fish matures. The adult coloration ranges from mostly blue in Chrysiptera ellenae, to mostly yellow with blue tinged fins in Chrysiptera maurineae and yellow with fine blue spots in Chrysiptera papuensis.

The three newest Chrysiptera from the eastern corner of the Coral Triangle are described in a complete review of the C. oxycephala complex with the best pictures we’ve yet seen of another very rarely seen species from the outer islands to the north of Papua New Guinea, Chrysiptera sinclairi. Normally we’d give you a proper rundown of each of the new damselfish species but there’s simply too much to cover. But if you want to dive in yourself, the description of the three new Chrysiptera species is published online in the Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation.


Chrysiptera oxycephala is found in Indonesia and the Philippines. Photo Gerald Allen


Chrysiptera papuensis from Papua New Guinea, East side of Papua Island. Photo by Gerald Allen


Chrysiptera ellenae from Raja Ampat, West Papua, Indonesia. Photo by Gerald Allen


Chrysiptera maurineae from Cenderawasih, West Papua Indonesia. Photo by Gerald Allen


Chrysiptera sinclairi from northern islands of Papua New Guinea. Photo by Gerald Allen

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