Researchers have discovered a new species of damselfish with a wide range in the south-western Pacific Ocean. The greyback damsel (Chrysiptera caesifrons) can be found in Halmahera and West Papua, Indonesia, northeastern Papua New Guinea (New Britain, Admiralty Islands, and Milne Bay Province), Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, New Caledonia, and the entire length of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef.
The greyback damselfish has a gray back in the front half of its body with yellow starting around mid-length to the tip of the tail. The fins have hints of blue and the body has blue dots throughout. A dark spot appears behind the gill plate. Depending on its geographic location, the greyback damsel is between 17 -60mm in length.
It is distinctly different from its closest relatives Chrysiptera rex and C. chrysocephala by virtue of color pattern differences and more importantly different mtDNA sequences. The fish are also very shallow water species, having been collected for the study in waters ranging from 1 to 8 meters deep.