Kusuma Aquarium in Bali, Indonesia, has sold what they say is an aberrant Domino Damsel. The leucistic fish pictured clearly lacks the jet-black color its species is known for but you can just about make out where the black pigment is absent and the three pure white spots should be on the head, back, and the dorsal fin.
Kusuma Aqua are aberration specialists who send divers to find these different fish, usually coming back with Zebrasoma or Acanthurus surgeonfish species. Although rarely seen, this is the second aberrant Damselfish species we’ve seen on social in a week, proof of the market demand for different color sports even of common reef fish. Kusuma told Reef Builders the pictured fish was caught out of a group of 1000 normal-colored Domino damsels, Dascyllus trimaculatus.
Dominos are known to be capable of color change in relation to mood but should be avoided by most reefkeepers because of their aggression and territorial behavior as they mature. Cute as juveniles and sold at a low price, adults are often unwanted, rehomed, or abandoned. Dominos can turn very pale and appear in lighter color forms but this one is clearly different, being predominantly white regardless of mood. Dascyllus strasburgi is a similar species that is white however, but endemic to the Marquesas Islands, a long way east of Indonesia in the middle of the South Pacific Ocean, so can probably be ruled out.
Usually sold for just a few dollars, this rare leucistic damselfish sold for $75. No doubt a record for its species.
Juvenile Dascyllus trimaculatus can be found sheltering close to anemones and alongside Clownfish, although they are not thought to be immune to the sting.