Chrysiptera caesifrons is the first new reef fish species of the week, and growing our favorite genus of damselfish but yet one more fish. Hailing from the Western Pacific Ocean, the new C. caesifrons is found in Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, New Caledonia and Northern Australia and it begins to be replaced with two similar looking Chrysiptera species in the greater Indo-Pacific region.
The new C. caesifrons can be found as far East as Raja Ampat but it begins to be substituted by Chrysiptera rex for most of Indonesia to the West. Meanwhile, to the north in the Phillipines and Southeast Asia this species ‘complex’ is represented by Chrysiptera chrysocephala.
All three species look somewhat similar underwater but they are geographically separated, and close inspection reveals that these fish are indeed distinct from each other. Chrysiptera chrysocephala is easily distinguished by having an overall yellow head on a paler body, whereas C. caesifrons has a blueish-grey forehead that extends over much of the top of the body. The most variable of the three species is Chrysiptera rex who’s blueish color is restricted to being just on the face. [JSOF]