Indian Ocean Chromis fieldi separated from Red Sea C. dimidiata
Chromis fieldi is a newly described species of damselfish from the Indian Ocean which was recently identified and described as a separate species from Chromis dimidiata. The new description published in Aqua now recognizes Chromis dimidiata as a Red Sea endemic which displays a more distinct division between the black and white area of color from its Indian Ocean counterpart.
By comparison, Chromis fieldi has a more curved delineation between the black and white coloration with the white color diffusing more into the anterior region of the dorsal fin. Chromis fieldi also differs in having a slightly higher count of pectoral fin rays and lateral line scales than C. dimidiata.
If the fish pictured in the image above by diver Ban Naden looks familiar, that is because the Chocolate-dip Chromis fieldi is no stranger to the aquarium scene since it is sometimes imported from the Maldives and Indian Ocean. We are partial to the more pronounced coloration of the Red Sea Chromis dimidiata but since we have access to both species as well as the Pacific species Chromis iomelas, marine aquarists can take their pick of which black and white Chromis they want swimming and schooling in their reef aquariums.