, Volume 285, Issue 1-3, pp 49-58

The damselfishes (Pisces: Osteichthyes: Pomacentridae) of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore: systematics, ecology and conservation

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Abstract

Damselfishes (Pomacentridae) are among the most common of reef fishes in tropical seas, comprising 320 species in all, with 268 species alone in the Indo-West Pacific regions. 15 genera (Abudefduf, Amblyglyphidodon, Amphiprion, Chelioprion, Chromis, Chrysiptera, Dascyllus, Pristotis, Dischistodus, Hemiglyphidodon, Neoglyphidodon, Neopomacentrus, Plectroglyphidodon, Pomacentrus, Stegastes) and at least 39 species inhabit the waters of Peninsular Malaysia and Singapore. They are important ecologically because many species are extremely abundant in reefs, and also economically, as several are collected in large numbers for the lucrative aquarium trade. This demand has led to some fishermen using destructive methods in obtaining the fishes, to the point that original standing populations may not be recoverable. This threat poses a need for conservation of the reefs. The present study based primarily on fishes collected from the waters of Singapore and specimens from the Zoological Reference Collection at the National University of Singapore, will serve the dual purpose of establishing a current species list for Malaysia and Singapore, and to update and clarify the local taxonomy of the group. An annotated list (with localities) is provided of the known or reported species to aid studies on reefs.