Stegastes nigricans (Lacepede, 1802)
Stegastes nigricans (Lacepede, 1802)
Genus: ,

Scientific Name: Stegastes nigricans

English Name: Dusky farmerfish

Creole Name: Bweter

French Name: Negrillon

IUCN Red List Status: Not Evaluated (NE)


Dorsal spines: 12; Dorsal rays: 15-17; Anal spines: 2; Anal rays: 12-14.

Juveniles are yellowish to orange-brown with a brown area from the upper head to the blackish spinous dorsal fin. Adults generally tan to dark brown. Dorsal surface of 
head and nape dark brown grading to tan on breast. Scales with dark brown margins. Iris yellow and black. Suborbital is pale blue. The lips are pale. The median and pelvic 
fins are brown, pectorals are dusky. Sometimes a well-defined dark brown or blackish spot is present at base of posterior dorsal rays. Caudal fin bi-lobed with pale tips. 
Courting males usually have a broad white bar across middle of the body and a pale bluish stripe from the mouth to the pectoral-fin base.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 14cm TL, commonly to 9cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Adults in habit reefs (depth 1-12m) frequently among branches of acropora coral. This territorial damselfish maintains algal farms growing on dead coral by excluding 
invading herbivores and weeding unpalatable algae. Feeds on algal mats, detritus and benthic animals maintained within its farm. Particularly aggressive during 
reproductive periods. Emit clicking noises during aggressive encounters. Oviparous, males tend the nest visited by several females. Eggs are demersal and adhere to the 
substrate. Males guard and aerate the eggs.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is not typically caught in the artisanal fishery due to its size.


Photos courtesy of Nina Andrews, taken off Cerf Island at approximately 3.5 metres.


Bray, D.J. (2018). Stegastes nigricans in Fishes of Australia.  (26/02/21).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. Eds. (2021). FishBase. (26/02/21).
Hata, H. & Umezawa, Y. (2011) Food habits of the farmer damselfish Stegastes nigricans inferred by stomach content, stable isotope, and fatty acid composition analyses. 
Ecol Res 26, 809–818 (2011).
Smith, M. & Heemstra, P. Eds. (1999). Smiths’ Sea Fishes Edition 6. Springer-Verlag Berlin Heidelberg 10.1007/978-3-642-82858-4


Nevill, J.E.G. (2021). Stegastes nigricans, Dusky farmerfish. Seychelles Seatizens. (Edited 25/10/21).

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