Fiji Blue Devil
Chrysiptera taupou is known under many different common names in English, such as Fiji Blue Devil, Fiji Blue Devil Damsel, Tonga Blue Devil Damsel, Southseas Devil, South Seas Devil, South Sea Demoiselle, and Village Belle.
Earlier, the Fiji Blue Devil (Chrysiptera taupou) and the Sapphire Devil (Chrysiptera cyanea) were regarded as variants of the same species. They look similar to each other and you can still find them under identical or easily confused common names in fish stores. The common name “Blue Devil Damsel” is for instance frequently used for both species. The geographical ranges of these two species overlap in the northern part of Great Barrier Reef.
Chrysiptera taupou has not been evaluated for the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.
Geographical range, habitat and habits
The Fiji Blue Devil is found in tropical parts of the Western Pacific, from the Coral Sea to the Great Barrier Reef, New Caledonia, the Loyalty Islands, Vanuatu, Fiji and Samoa.
The Fiji Blue Devil lives in lagoons and offshore coral reefs. The depth range for this species is 1-10 meters / 3-33 feet. It is known to form small groups.
Size and appearance
The largest scientifically measured Fiji Blue Damsel was 8.0 cm / 3.1 in.
How the Fiji Blue Devil is perceived depends a lot on the lighting. In sunlight or under bright aquarium lighting, the blue body displays neon-like reflections in bright greenish and bluish shades. During certain conditions, the fish can darken its colour and become deep blue.
Juveniles look similar to the adult fish, but the yellow dots are paler in juveniles that in adults.
Info about how to distinguish the two sexes from each other can be found in the breeding section of this article.
As mentioned above, Chrysiptera taupou and Chrysiptera cyanea look very similar to each other, but Chrysiptera taupou has a yellow dorsal fin and is adorned with yellow dots on the sides.
Fiji Blue Devil care
The Fiji Blue Devil is a hardy species that can be recommended to novice marine aquarists, but just like most other damsels it will become increasingly aggressive as it gets older. Chrysiptera taupou is however less aggressive than its close relative Chrysiptera cyanea. Avoid combining it with fish that can fend for themselves.
It is not advisable to house a Fiji Blue Devil in an aquarium smaller than 30 gallons / 115 litres. The aquarium should contain plenty of hiding spots as well as open water for swimming. This is a very active species that will spend a lot of time rapidly dashing back and forth out in the open. Ideally use rocks and/or coral to create nooks, crannies and similar. If you wish to keep more than one Fiji Blue Devil in the aquarium, clever decoration becomes even more important.
The Fiji Blue Devil is considered reef safe with caution. It will leave corals and anemones alone, but may attack small mobile invertebrates such as shrimps.
The recommended water temperature when keeping Fiji Blue Devils is 75 - 79° F (24 - 26° C). The recommended pH-range is 8.1-8.4 and the specific gravity should be kept at 1.020-1.025.
In the wild, the Fiji Blue Devil is known to seek out wrasses from the genus Labroides to be cleaned from skin parasites. You don’t have to provide your devils with cleaner wrasses in the aquarium, but it can be a good idea to include some type of cleaner fish in the set up, e.g. Neon Goby (Gobiosoma spp.)
Feeding Fiji Blue Devil
The Fiji Blue Devil is believed to feed chiefly on zooplankton and phytoplankton in the wild, but more research is needed to determine its exact diet. In the aquarium, it will readily accept a long row of food, including dry food. You can for instance use high-quality flakes as a base and supplement with meaty food and green food. It is important to keep the diet varied. Feed your fish several times throughout the day instead of just one or two big meals.
Breeding Fiji Blue Devil
Sexing Fiji Blue Devil is not very difficult, because these damselfishes are sexually dimorphic and can be sexed based on outer appearance. The male fish is blue with a yellow belly and whitish chest. His sides are adorned with numerous yellowish spots and you can see a whitish line on the abdomen posteriorly. The dorsal fin is blue, but the pelvic and anal fins are all yellowish. The caudal fin is both blue and yellow – blue anteriorly and yellowish posteriorly. In many specimens, the dorsal fin base sports a black eye-spot.
The female fish looks quite similar to the male, but most parts of her dorsal fin is yellowish and it gets transparent posteriorly.
The Fiji Blue Devil is an egg depositing species. The male will establish a territory and prepare a spawning site on coral or rubble. He will court the female by swimming rapidly in her vicinity sporting his brilliant colours. The female will deposit her adhesive eggs at the spawning site and they will be promptly fertilized by the male. The male will violently defend the spawning site until the eggs hatch.
Sporadic reports exist about hobby aquarists spawning Fiji Blue Devils in their aquariums, but little is known about the exact methods used.
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