Published July 21, 2016 | Version v1
Video/Audio Open

An Indo-Pacific damselfish on an oil-platform in the southwest Gulf of Mexico

  • 1. UNAM-Sisal, Yucatan, Mexico
  • 2. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Panama


The damselfish Neopomacentrus cyanomos is a common fish on coral reefs throughout the Indo-west Pacific. This species, which is not native to the Atlantic, was first observed in the southwest Gulf of Mexico in 2013. Subsequent investigations show that it is widely distributed in that area. Current evidence supports the hypothesis that this species having been transported to the Gulf of Mexico by an offshore oil platform being relocated there from the Indo-Pacific. On inshore reefs in the Gulf of Mexico it is not particularly abundant. However, it is more common at Cayo Arcas, an offshore reef in the southwest corner of Campeche Bank, and superabundant on an oil-platform adjacent to that reef.  This video documents the dense aggregation of 50-100,000 individuals of this species living on the heavily encrusted legs of that oil platform down to at least 45 m depths in early 2016.

Published on Zenodo July 21, 2016.  Zenodo. doi: 10.5281/zenodo.58455

Also viewable on Youtube:


Files (82.9 MB)

Name Size Download all
82.9 MB Download