EnglishName: Three-bar dascyllus
Local Name : Muraka mas
Size : Max. 7.5 cm
Order : Perciformes
Distinctive Characters: Dorsal fin with 12 spines and 11-13 rays. Anal fin with 2 spines and 11-13 rays. Pectoral rays 17-19. Body depth 1.5-1.7 in standard length. Suborbital bones scaled and finely serrate. Preopercular margin finely serrate. Pectoral fin slightly shorter than head.
Colour: White with three broad black bars. The first diagonal bar from nape and upper head through eye to chin. Caudal fin pale.
Habitat and Biology: Inhabits lagoon and coastal reefs in 1-12 m, usually found in aggregations around small coral heads. Feeds primarily on zooplankton in the water column above the corals. Takes shelter among the branches with the approach of danger.
Remarks: Dascyllus aruanus is sometimes confused with D. melanurus (not recorded from the Maldives). They are easily distinguishable when seen together. The position of the anterior black bars and the lack of black on the caudal fin will serve to identify D. aruanus.