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Guide to Sea of Cortez Fish Species

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Guide to travel, activities, organisms, and ecology of the Sea of Cortez

Panamic Sergeant Major
Abudefduf troschelii

Panamic Sergeant Major Abudefduf troschelii

Description and Size
To 7.5 inches (191mmm).  Unlike all other Sea of Cortez damselfish species, the Panamic sergeant majors display a characteristic pattern of 5 dark vertical bars against a light yellow/green background.  

Identifying Features
The only other species with a similar banding pattern is the Graybar Grunt Haemulon sexfasciatum, however their body shapes are very dissimilar, as the grunt is significantly larger, more elongate, and has a large mouth and a deeply sloping forehead. 

Range 
Throughout the Sea of Cortez, south through Peru and the Galapagos.

Habitat
This is one of the most abundant fish throughout the Sea of Cortez.  It is most often associated with rocky reefs shallower than 50 feet.   

Behavior and Ecology
Like most other damselfish species in the Se of Cortez, the Panamic sergeant major is a highly territorial species, although it is less likely than Cortez Damsels to charge divers in their territories.  Nuptial males display a deep purple or blue coloration with an attractive metallic sheen when trying to attract mates.  They spawn on rock faces and will deposit as many as ten thousand eggs every two weeks throughout the spring and summer.   

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Updated August 28, 2009

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