By Bob Goemans
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Stegastes leucostictus

(Muller & Troschel, 1848)


Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Western Atlantic Ocean: Southern Florida, Gulf of Mexico, Bermuda, and south to Brazil.

Size: 4 inches (10 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits seagrass beds, and sandy areas on coral and rocky reefs and often found in mangrove areas at depths between 3 to about 30 feet (1– 10 m) where juveniles feed on zooplankton, and adults mainly feed on filamentous algae and somewhat on zooplankton.

General Husbandry: Occasionally seen in the trade, with adults a drab brownish grey, yet attractive juveniles having a pale yellowish body with blue along the head to the rear dorsal.

Best maintained in aquaria having live rock with growths of various forms of algae, hiding places, and somewhat aggressive tankmates, e.g., dottybacks, hawkfishes, large angelfishes and surgeonfishes.

As to diet, plant material (adults main food in the wild), e.g., flake foods, especially those containing Spirulina and Nori, combined with most regular aquarium foods, e.g., live fortified brine shrimp and/or finely chopped various frozen or fresh meaty foods such as mysis, squid, fish flesh, shrimp, clam, etc., which would be mainly for juveniles, should be offered once or twice daily.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Labroidei

    Family: Pomacentridae

    Subfamily: Pomacentrinae

    Genus: Stegastes

FYI: One per aquarium, unless being maintained in large aquariums, >75 gallons.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Semi-aggressive

Diet: Omnivore

Coral Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: With caution

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Semi-aggressive

Minimum Tank Size: 75 gallons

Temperature Range: 72 - 84°F (22 – 28°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Stegastes leucostictus (Beaugregory)
Photo © Bob Fenner
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