There are about 30 species of damselfishes or demoiselles worldwide. 11 genera and 46 species have been found locally.
Damselfishes are generally small. There are some drab coloured algal feeders but most are small, brightly coloured reef dwellers who live close to the substrate which provides shelter and nesting sites. They are very territorial and will aggressively protect their patch. One or both partners clears a nest site then begins a courtship display. Eggs are attached to the bottom by means of adhesive strands and are guarded by the male. after a few days the larvae rise to the surface and are carried away by currents .
Colours vary between adults and juveniles but there is generally not much difference between sexes except a breeding time. Males guarding eggs may show unusual colours.
Damselfishes have a varied diet including, invertebrates, plankton and algae.