Stegastes xanthurusis commonly referred to as Cocoa damselfish. Difficulty in the aquarium: There are no reports available yet that this animal has already been kept in captivity successfully. Toxicity: Toxic hazard unknown.
This moderately common species occurs over small patches of hard substrate at the interface between reefs and soft bottoms, but in deeper water than S. leucostictus.
Adults are diurnal (Medeiros et al. 2010), feeding mainly on benthic algae but also on sponges, ascidians and anemones while juveniles feed on invertebrates like harpacticoid copepods and nemerteans. It is often solitary. Juveniles are aggressively territorial (Cervigón 1993). This species is aggressive when breeding (Lieske and Myers 1994).
Stegastes xanthurus has been identified as a prey item of the invasive Lionfish (Pterois volitans), however, only juveniles are consumed and it is not likely that this will drive significant population declines on a global level.
Sorce: IUCV Red List
This species is incidentally caught in subsistence fisheries and is a minor component of the aquarium trade