Like many damselfishes, White-ears change colour as they grow. The brightly coloured juveniles are orange with neon-blue lines and spots, a black ocellus ringed with neon-blue on the dorsal fin, and a white patch on the gill cover.
With growth, the body becomes brownish, and the neon blue markings and ocellus gradually disappear. Large individuals are yellowish-brown to black. Like the juveniles, they have a distinct white "ear-like" marking on the gill cover that is visible at all growth stages.
White ears are abundant on coastal reefs along much of the New South Wales coast. Divers are very familiar with these small territorial fishes, especially during the breeding season when males aggressively protect their eggs.
Source: Fishes of Australia