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Related FAQs: Clownfishes, Clownfishes 2, Clownfishes 3, Clownfish Identification, Clownfish Selection, Clownfish Compatibility, Clownfish Compatibility 2, Clownfish Compatibility 3, Clownfish Behavior, Clown Behavior 2, Clown Behavior 3, Clown Behavior 4, Clown Behavior 5, Clown Behavior 6, & Clownfish Systems, Clownfish Feeding, Maroon Clownfish, Maroon Clowns 2, Clownfish Diseases 1, Clownfish Diseases 2, Clownfish Diseases 3, Clownfish Disease 4, Clownfish Disease 5, Clownfish Disease 6, Clownfish Disease 7, Clownfish Disease 8, Clownfish Disease 9, Clownfish Disease 10, Clownfish Disease 11, Clownfish Disease 12, Clownfish Disease 13, Clownfish Disease 14, Clownfish Disease 15, Clownfish Disease 16, Clownfish Disease 17, Clownfish Disease 18, Clownfish Disease 19, Clownfish Disease 20, Clownfish Disease 21, Clownfish Disease 22, Clownfish Disease 24, Clownfish Disease 25, Clownfish Disease 26, Clownfish Disease 27, & Brooklynellosis, Breeding Clowns, Clownfish Reproduction 2, Clownfish Reproduction 3, Clownfish Reproduction 3, Clownfish Breeding 4, Clownfish Breeding 5, Clownfish Breeding 6, & Clownfish and Anemones, Clownfish/Anemones 2, Clownfish/Anemones 3, Clownfish/Anemones 4, Clownfish/Hosts 5, Anemones & Clowns 1, Anemones & Clowns 2, Damsel Selection, Damsel Compatibility, Damsel Feeding, Damsel Disease, Damsel Reproduction,

Related Articles: Maroon Clowns, Brooklynellosis, Damselfish, Anemones, Premnas Pix,

/The Conscientious Marine Aquarist

The Clownfishes, Damsels of the subfamily Amphiprionae, Part 1

To: Part 2

By Bob Fenner

Amphiprion bicinctus

"Oh my gosh! That plant is eating that fish!" You know it's got to be a neophyte observing a member of the clown or Anemonefishes subfamily Amphiprionae, in the Damselfishes family (Pomacentridae), cavorting amongst the tentacles of a host anemone.

Prized for their bold and bright color patterns, comical behavior, and ability to thrive in captivity, there is much disinformation regarding the selection and care of clown-anemone fishes. This sub-Section attempts to present straight-forward information on how to be successful with the damsels we call clowns.

Classification:

Is still a jumble. There are about twenty six valid species, all but one in the genus Amphiprion; with one member in the genus Premnas. These are further lump-able into four "complexes". Ho-boy.

Unfortunately for aquarists, Anemonefishes are very frequently misidentified in our trade/hobby, and share the same four or five common names. Notable species, grouped by similar appearances include:

1) Multiple-striped orange to tan to brown clowns: Amphiprion ocellaris, variously sold as "Percula" clowns from whom they can usually be distinguished by the presence of thick black bordering on the white bars of the "true" Perculas, .Amphiprion percula. Other similarly marked species include Amphiprion clarkii, Amphiprion bicinctus, Amphiprion chrysopterus and the rare Amphiprion sebae ("C-bay"), more often than not a misidentified Clarkii clown. Oh yes, and the tear-shaped, saddle-back clown, Amphiprion polymnus, the Wide-Band Anemonefish, Amphiprion latezonatus. There are others...

Amphiprion akindynos Allen 1972, the Barrier Reef Anemonefish. Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. To five inches long. Similar to Clark's Clown but has wider white bars and more consistent dark brown body color. In a Heteractis crispa symbionts off of Heron Island, GBR, Australia.

Amphiprion allardi Klausewitz 1970, Allard's Anemonefish. Similar to A. chrysopterus but with a more pale tail color (to white) and widely separated distribution. East Africa coast; Kenya to Durban. To five inches in length. Pix of an adult and juvenile by Calvin Jennings
Amphiprion bicinctus Ruppell 1828, the Two-Band or Red Sea Anemonefish. Bright orange and brown bodied, with two vertical body bands, the first expanded above the head. Yellow tailed. Found in the Red Sea, Gulf of Aden and Chagos Archipelago. To five inches in length. Red Sea image.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
Bigger PIX: The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Amphiprion chagosensis Allen 1972, the Chagos Anemonefish. Light to dark brown overall, with two narrow white body bands, whitish tail. To four inches in length. Found in the Chagos Archipelago and the upper Red Sea reportedly.

No pic (got to keep my eyes open!)

Amphiprion chrysogaster Cuvier 1830, the Mauritian Anemonefish. Very dark base body color, with yellow underneath and dark tail. Confined to Mauritius and Reunion Islands in the lower Indian Ocean. Photos by Christopher Waters and Marina Peters.

Amphiprion chrysopterus Cuvier 1830, the Orange-Fin Anemonefish. West to mid Pacific; Australia, New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Tuamotus. Yellowish-orange accents on upper and lower body and yellow tail. To six inches. Found in three species of anemones in the wild. Some in captivity. A male and female below in Fiji.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
Bigger PIX: The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Amphiprion clarkii (Bennett 1830), Clarkii or Yellowtail Clownfish. Indo-West Pacific; Persian Gulf to Western Australia to Melanesia, Micronesia. To six inches in length. The most variable species of the subfamily. Blackish to brown body color, third white body bar on caudal peduncle, white or yellow tail. At right in N. Sulawesi. Below: Juvenile in Queensland Australia, adult in the Maldives (typical dark color as with most individuals found with Stichodactyla mertensii), and lastly aquarium image.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Amphiprion fuscocaudatus Allen 1972, the Seychelles Anemonefish. Dark brown bodied with broad lower golden-yellow areas including pectoral fins. Three wide body bands. Seychelles, including Aldabra, western Indian Ocean. To five inches. Found in the wild only in association with Stichodactyla mertensii.

No pic (and I've BEEN to the Seychelles!)

Amphiprion latezonatus Waite 1900, the Wide-Band Anemonefish. Dark brown bodied, with three (especially the middle) wide white body bars. Found only off Lord Howe Island and the coast near the Queensland-NSW border. This one photographed at the Birch Aquarium, San Diego. To five inches total length.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Amphiprion latifasciatus Allen 1972, the Madagascar Anemonefish. Blackish brown body with two white bars, yellow snout, fins, belly. Caudal fin slightly forked. To five inches in length. Western Indian Ocean; Madagascar and Comoros. Found in the wild only in association with Stichodactyla mertensii.

Got the film, time...

Amphiprion leucokranos Allen 1973, the Whitebonnet Anemonefish. To 9 cm. in length. Western Central Pacific: Papua New Guinea, Manus Islands, D'Entreceasteaux Islands, New Britain, and Solomon Islands. Likely a cross twixt A. chrysopterus and A. sandaracinos. Dallas World Aq. pic. http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=9207&genusname=Amphiprion&speciesname =leucokranos
Amphiprion mccullochi Whitley 1929, McCulloch's Anemonefish. Very dark body, white snout and tail. White bar on side of head isolated by dark area over head. Found only off eastern Australia around Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands. Photo courtesy of Ryan Dwyer.

Amphiprion ocellaris Cuvier 1830, the "False" Percula or Clown Anemonefish, or Ocellaris Clown. Indo-West Pacific; eastern Indian Ocean to Australia, to Philippines, to southern Japan. To a little over four inches maximum length. Bred in captivity including beautiful northwest Regular and Australian dark variety mid-juvenile and adult below. Orange overall (except for melanistic forms), with three broad continuous body bars with narrow black margins (vs. thick ones in A. percula).
Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
There are speculations that the darker above-shaded Ocellaris Clowns are actually a cross twixt them and A. percula... Hence the common appellation: "Percularis"... One at right in St. Louis.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.


Amphiprion omanensis Allen and Mee 1991, the Oman Anemonefish. Cinnamon-colored overall, with two slim white body bars with narrow black bordering. White tail fin. Found only about Oman in the Arabian Peninsula.

Wish the Sultan would sponsor me for a trip, even on his second-smaller yacht's dingy

Amphiprion percula (Lacepede 1802), the "True" Percula or Orange Clownfish. Western Pacific; New Guinea, GBR, Solomon Islands, Melanesia. To about four inches in length. Mutualistic with Stoichactis, Macrodactyla and Radianthus anemones.

An ORA Platinum Percula, and yet another Perc variety!
Bigger PIX: The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.


A nice mated pair of "Onyx Perculas" at Morgan Lidster's Inland Aquatics.

Amphiprion polymnus (Linnaeus 1758), the Saddleback Clownfish. Western Pacific; Ryukyu Islands to the Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia. Northern Australia and Solomon Islands. To five inches in length. Distinctive saddle-like marking on mid-body. This pair in a typical silty/sandy setting in a Stichodactyla haddoni anemone (also inhabits Heteractis crispa in the wild), off Pulau Redang, Malaysia, and in an aquarium. Below, some darker different colored ones from N. Sulawesi.

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Amphiprion sebae Bleeker 1853, the Sebae Clownfish. Dark brown to black, two wide white body bars, the second slanting backward on the upper flank, extending to end of dorsal fin. Orange to yellow tail. To five inches in length. Most often fishes sold under this name in the pet-fish trade are actually Clark's Clownfish. Found all along the northern Indian Ocean. Below in N. Sulawesi, with eggs and a Haddoni carpet anemone, and a hobbyist photo sent in for ID.
Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
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The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Amphiprion tricinctus Schultz and Welander 1953, the Three-Band Anemonefish. Black grading to light brown anteriorly, two or three white body bands. Dark tails. Found only in the Marshall Islands, central-western Pacific Ocean.

Need to sort through my "Clarkii" slides, mmm

To: Part 2

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