Abundant in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Endemic to the southern Coral Sea and northern Tasman sea. Recorded from eastern Australia, Norfolk Island, New Caledonia and northern New Zealand. In Australia recorded from the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef from central Queensland south to around Wollongong in New South Wales and including Lord Howe Island.
Frequents coral and rocky reef, exposed reef fronts, often in strong surge areas. Depth 1 - 30 m.
Usually dusky colour with yellow belly, yellow pectoral, pelvic and anal fins. Small blue spot at pectoral fin base. Feeds on zooplankton and detritus in the water column. Distinct pairing during breeding, eggs adhere to the substrate. Males aerate and guard the eggs, which are often preyed upon by wrasses and other fish. Similar looking Stegastes apicalis lacks the yellow belly and has yellow margin to dorsal and top lobe of tail fin. Grows to 15 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.282.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=Stegastes+gascoynei. Accessed 09/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/Stegastes-gascoynei.html. Accessed 09/07/18.