In order not to build up intraspecific competition here, Chromis vanbebberae lives in these areas at a greater depth than in places where Chromis enchrysura does not occur at all.
Here they have separated the two species according to water depth as follows, Chromis enchrysurus from (~ 25-40 m) and Chromis vanbebberae in deeper water (~ 60-90 m).
In areas without Chromis enchrysurus, Chromis vanbebberae can already be found in shallow depths from 5 metres.
Chromis vanbebberae is found in a variety of deep-sea habitats at depths from 49 to at least 178 metres, including rocky reef slopes, coral outcrops, around sponges, boulders and caves.
In areas of colder water in southeastern Brazil (states of Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro and Sao Paulo), they are sighted at depths of up to 10m.
In Curaçao, individuals are often found near sporadic rocks on otherwise open sandy bottoms without other structures, which they often occupy together with the sea bass Serranus phoebe or Serranus notospilus.
They are also commonly found near artificial substrates such as shipwrecks (e.g. the Queen of Nassau wreck in southeast Florida), car tyres and discarded ropes and fishing gear.
However, Chromis vanbebberae is the only mesophotic Chromis recorded from Brazilian oceanic islands.
The species name "vanbebberae" honours Barbara Van Bebber, one of the most accomplished diving pilots in the Caribbean. Ms Van Bebber was one of several experienced "Curasub" pilots who assisted DROP in the observation and collection of many new species, including this species.
The common name "white-tailed damselfish" refers to the caudal fin colouration that distinguishes the species from Chromis enchrysurus, the yellow-tailed damselfish.
A new species of Chromis damselfish from the tropical western Atlantic (Teleostei, Pomacentridae)
Authors: expand article infoEmily P. McFarland, Carole C. Baldwin, David Ross Robertson, Luiz A. Rocha, Luke Tornabene
ZooKeys 1008: 107-138
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