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Blacksmith Chromis punctipinnis


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credit: NOAA

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Family: Pomacentridae, Damselfishes view all from this family

Description The blacksmith (Chromis punctipinnis) is a fish native to the eastern Pacific Ocean. Its range is from Monterey Bay, California, to central Baja California, Mexico. The blacksmith reaches a maximum size of 25 cm and is dark blue.The blacksmith is symbiotic with the senorita fish. When it feels that it is starting to deteriorate in hygiene it will turn until it is perpendicular to the ground. The senorita fish will then commence cleaning the blacksmith. Not only does the senorita get a meal, but the blacksmith gets groomed. So this helps both the senorita and the blacksmith. These are small, marine, reef-associated fish.

Blacksmiths have dark blue-black colored bodies with small black spots towards the tail and large scales. Young fish (to 5cm), are two-tone with a bluey-grey front and a brownish-orange rear. They have forked tails.

Dimensions Up to 12" (30 cm).

Habitat Ocean or bay shallows, Estuaries, tidal flats & salt marshes, Tidepools.

Range California.