Genus Chromis

Chromis Cuvier, 1814

Diagnosis: eye large. Mouth strongly protractile, reaching vertical from eye. Small canine-like teeth in 3 rows on jaws. Preoperculum not slightly serrated. Dorsal finrays XIII-XIV + 10-11; anal finrays 11 + 10-12. Anterior gill arch with 30 slender rakers. Vertebrae 26. Scales large. Head fully scaled. Lateral line scales 24-30. Colour: very young specimens brilliant iridescent blue; young specimens with bl stripes and dorsal and anal fins outlined with blue, and adults dark brown, centre of each scale more pale, golden brown or grey-brow edge of caudal fin uncoloured, chiefly in the middle part. Sometimes (e.g. in the Azores) colour dimorphism: females, young and non-nesting males golden brown, paired and caudal fins orange, the latter with black stripe edged with white on its posterior margin. Breeding males vivid mauve. Size: to 15 cm SL, usually 8-10 cm.

Habitat: Iittoral, mainly in rocky areas (depth 3-35 m). Behaviour: small shoals in midwater above or near rocky reefs or above sea-gras meadows (Posidonia). Food: small planktonic or benthic animals. Reproduction: in summer. Eggs with a tuft of adhesive filaments. Courtship and nesting on rocky, sometimes sandy bottoms. Males take care of eggs.

Distribution: in the Mediterranean and from Portugal southwards to Angola.

Species about 50; in Clofnam area 1.

Species of this genus in the program:
Chromis chromis