Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Sergeant Major (fish)
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The Sergeant Major or píntano (Abudefduf saxatilis, family Pomacentridae) is a large, colourful damselfish. It earns its name from its brightly striped sides, which are reminiscent of the insignia of a military Sergeant Major. It grows to a length of about 15cm (6 inches).
The fish feed upon the larvae of invertebrates, zooplankton, smaller fishes, crustaceans and various species of algae. They are preyed upon by some members of the Labridae and Serranidae families. They lay their eggs in patches of algae and guard them vigorously until they hatch.
Sergeant majors are found throughout the tropical reaches of the Atlantic, including off the south coast of the United States, Central America, eastern South America and western Africa. They are often found on coral reefs at depths of between 1 and 12 meters.
They are popular aquarium fish, although their aggressively territorial nature can pose problems if not closely watched.
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