Divers rarely spot these tiny damselfish on large stretches of reef, but I was lucky enough to find a Beaugregory Juvenile amongst some rubble at the Toy Box/Play Pen dive site.
Nearly all juvenile damselfish have strikingly different markings/coloring than the adults. Once they reach maturity, the bright blue and yellow coloring of the Beaugregory juvenile transforms into a dusky brownish-black. The Beaugregory can grow to 4 inches and has a lifespan of 6-8 years.
What do they eat?
Juveniles feed on crustaceans (copepods) and a variety of marine worms (i.e. nemerteans & polychaetes), while adult Beaugregories add algae, marine plankton (foraminiferans), and snails (gastropods) to their diet.
Who eats them?
Bluehead wrasse and blennies prey on the Beaugregory’s eggs.
These tiny fish hide out in calm, inshore habitats, which range from 3 to 40 feet of water. Although they can be found on reefs, they typically find shelter in seagrass beds, mangrove forests, sponge beds, and rock or reef rubble. They are quite territorial but not as aggressive as other damsels.
These little guys do NOT migrate…but the males will travel up to 30 feet to “woo” the females. When the Beaugregory’s eggs are laid they are initially a bright yellow but eventually change to green. Best of all, the guardians of these egg nests are the adult males…go men!!!