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Marine Animal Encyclopedia

Sergeant Major Abudefduf saxatilis

This small fish is a familiar sight on most coral reefs in the Atlantic. It is one of the most common members of the damselfish family (Pomacentridae). It feeds on zooplankton in large groups, gathering above the reef to pick tiny animals and fish eggs from the water. In tourist areas, the fish are attracted to divers and boats, and will eat almost anything that is offered. Male sergeant majors prepare a nesting area and guard the eggs laid by the females. A similar species, Abudefduf vaigiensis, is found on reefs in the Indo-Pacific region.

Sergeant Major habitat mapzoom image
Sergeant Majorzoom image
Sergeant Majorzoom image
  • Order Perciformes
  • Length Up to 9 in (23 cm)
  • Weight Up to 7 oz (200 g)
  • Depth 3–50 ft (1–15 m)
  • Distribution Tropical and subtropical waters of Atlantic Ocean