Body deep, somewhat oval, with a rounded head and a single long-based dorsal fin. Scales large, bases of dorsal and anal fins with scaly sheath of smaller scales. Colour highly variable from juvenile to adult. Large individuals yellowish-brown to black with a distinct white "ear" marking on the gill cover. Small juveniles bright orange with neon-blue lines, spots and a black ocellus ringed with neon-blue on dorsal fin. With growth, body becomes brown and the blue colour and ocellus gradually disappear. The white "ear" marking is visible at all stages. To 20 cm.
Although very rare in Port Phillip Bay, the White Ear is one of the most abundant rocky reef fishes in the Sydney region. Like many other damselfishes, it is very territorial and males aggressively guard their eggs against predators.
Lives near the bottom on exposed coastal reefs; juveniles often found in rock pools; in depths of 0-30 m.
South-eastern Australia, including central and eastern Victoria.
Native to Australia
- DSE Advisory List : Not listed
- EPBC Act 1999 : Not listed
- IUCN Red List : Not listed