These fish are found in lagoons and seaward reefs (Fautin and Allen, 1992; Myers, 1991). They are non-migratory fish living in brackish marine water with depths ranging up to 38 meters and temperatures around 25°C. These fish live in symbiotic relationships with various sea anenomes including Heteractis crispa, Hetaractis magnifica, Macrodactyla doreensis and Stichodactyla gigantea. often occurs in the same environment with the closely related Amphiprion akallopison, often in the same anemone (Kuiter and Tonozuka, 2001). (Allen, 1975; Fautin and Allen, 1992; Kuiter and Tonozuka, 2001; Myers, 1991)
- Range depth
- 1 to 38 m
- 3.28 to 124.67 ft
are typically pink to pinkish orange in color. Fins are pale to transparent. They have a very distinct white dorsal stripe extending from the head to the caudal tail. A second, vertical, stripe is observed between the head and the rest of the body. have 9 or 10 well-developed dorsal spines and 2 anal spines. They have 16 or 17 dorsal soft rays and 12 or 13 anal soft rays. Likewise, they have highly developed pharyngeal teeth and a premaxilla with an ascending process, resulting in very effective suction feeding.
They reach a maximum length of 10 cm (Lieske and Myers, 1994; Fautin and Allen, 1992).
Similar species include A. nigripes, A. leucokranos, A. akallopisos and A. sandaracinos. Amphiprion nigripes can be distinguished by a black belly, pelvic area and anal fins and a more reddish color. Amphiprion leucokranos have much wider and broader stripes which don't extend the full lenth of the body. The remaining two species lack the white head bar present in .
- Sexual Dimorphism
- female larger
- Range length
- 10 (high) cm
- 3.94 (high) in
- Average length
- 4.6-5.5 cm
Once the eggs ofhatch, they take on a planktonic form where they are carried from the natal host anemone and float in the water column.
At the end of their larval period,enter a juvenile stage where they metamorphose. Metamorphosis involves the development of the white bands as well as a general migration to different depths of water and host anemones. Evidence suggests that juveniles progressively forage in a smaller area as they become adults.
Members of the genus Amphiprion occupy a single anemone for their entire life, rarely swimming more than several meters from their host. These groups consist of one female, but many include several males. The female is the largest member of the colony and the dominant male is the next largest. The others, while male, are functionally sterile unless one of the two dominant fishes die. (Allen, 1991; Arvedlund, et al., 2000; Balon, 1990; Boyer, 2005; Coughlin, et al., 1992)
are monogamous fish where only two of the representatives of a group are actually involved in the mating. The female and dominant male are strictly monogamous. When the female dies, the largest male undergoes a sex change and becomes the mating female. After this, the second largest male actively becomes involved in mating.
In spawning, male A. ocellaris chase females, passing over the nest. With each pass, the female lays a line of eggs which adhere to the rock surface. The male then fertilizes the eggs and protects them from predators. (Allen, 1975; Balon, 1990; Thresher, 1984)
- Mating System
spawn several times between April and August, but sometimes as early as February, depending on the conditions. In this species, the largest fish is always the female and the second largest fish is always the male. Fish are male first until the female dies (protandrous). During a year, the pair may produce between 2000 and 4000 eggs. Both males and females reach maturity between 1.75 and 1.83 years of age.
While little research has actually been done on the reproductive mechanisms of Ampiprion ocellaris showed several interesting reproductive mechanisms. Females control males through agression and chase away other females. Dominant males build a nest on a bare rock face near an anemone. Courtship behavior in A. ocellaris includes the extension of spines, biting, and chasing. (Allen, 1991; Allen, 1991; Balon, 1990; Boyer, 2005; Thresher, 1984), a similar species
- Key Reproductive Features
- seasonal breeding
- gonochoric/gonochoristic/dioecious (sexes separate)
- sequential hermaphrodite
- Breeding interval
- will breed several times a year with no obvious peak season.
- Breeding season
- They breed between April and August.
- Range number of offspring
- 2000 to 4000
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (female)
- 1.75 to 1.83 years
- Range age at sexual or reproductive maturity (male)
- 1.75 to 1.83 years
Male (Boyer, et al., 2004)protect the developing eggs while they are attached to the substrate just outside of the host anemone, for about 6 to 8 days. When the eggs hatch, the larvae leave the host anemone.
- Parental Investment
Currently, there is very little available data regarding the lifespan of Amphiprion. Some data suggests that the lifespan is around ten years. Amphiprion percula have a record of 18 years in captivity. (Fautin and Allen, 1992)
Communication and Perception
Communication amongis not well-understood. They perceive their environment through visual, chemical, and tactile cues and are likely to use these modes of perception in communication.
use suction feeding. The maxilla pushes the premaxilla forward, which causes an area of low pressure inside the mouth, resulting in suction.
exploit a wide range of phytoplankton (blue-green algae and diatoms), zooplankton and zoobenthos. This makes them omnivorous generalists. collect food from surrounding areas near their host anemones. They have also been known to consume food leftover from their host.
Studies have shown that Amphiprion melanopus experience a rapid growth during their juvenile stage. This rate is affected by contact with sunlight, likely due to a higher abundance of plankton. It's likely that there's selective pressure for larger fish, as smaller ones do not have the chance to mate. (Arvedlund, et al., 2000; Boyer, 2005; Fautin and Allen, 1992)
- Animal Foods
- aquatic or marine worms
- aquatic crustaceans
- other marine invertebrates
- Plant Foods
Serranidae). The primary defense used by these fish is their ability to survive within sea anemones. The toxic stings of anemones protects resident fish from predators. (Allen, 1991; Boyer, 2005; Boyer, et al., 2004; Fautin and Allen, 1992)are preyed on by large, predatory fish, notably groupers (
- Known Predators
- groupers (Serranidae)
Economic Importance for Humans: Positive
Economic Importance for Humans: Negative
There are no known adverse effects of (Allen, 1991)on humans. They are considered harmless.
Tanya Dewey (editor), Animal Diversity Web.
David Lamb (author), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor, Kevin Wehrly (editor, instructor), University of Michigan-Ann Arbor.
- Pacific Ocean
body of water between the southern ocean (above 60 degrees south latitude), Australia, Asia, and the western hemisphere. This is the world's largest ocean, covering about 28% of the world's surface.
- bilateral symmetry
having body symmetry such that the animal can be divided in one plane into two mirror-image halves. Animals with bilateral symmetry have dorsal and ventral sides, as well as anterior and posterior ends. Synapomorphy of the Bilateria.
uses smells or other chemicals to communicate
the nearshore aquatic habitats near a coast, or shoreline.
- active during the day, 2. lasting for one day.
- dominance hierarchies
ranking system or pecking order among members of a long-term social group, where dominance status affects access to resources or mates
humans benefit economically by promoting tourism that focuses on the appreciation of natural areas or animals. Ecotourism implies that there are existing programs that profit from the appreciation of natural areas or animals.
animals which must use heat acquired from the environment and behavioral adaptations to regulate body temperature
- external fertilization
fertilization takes place outside the female's body
union of egg and spermatozoan
- indeterminate growth
Animals with indeterminate growth continue to grow throughout their lives.
offspring are produced in more than one group (litters, clutches, etc.) and across multiple seasons (or other periods hospitable to reproduction). Iteroparous animals must, by definition, survive over multiple seasons (or periodic condition changes).
A large change in the shape or structure of an animal that happens as the animal grows. In insects, "incomplete metamorphosis" is when young animals are similar to adults and change gradually into the adult form, and "complete metamorphosis" is when there is a profound change between larval and adult forms. Butterflies have complete metamorphosis, grasshoppers have incomplete metamorphosis.
Having one mate at a time.
having the capacity to move from one place to another.
specialized for swimming
- native range
the area in which the animal is naturally found, the region in which it is endemic.
an animal that mainly eats all kinds of things, including plants and animals
found in the oriental region of the world. In other words, India and southeast Asia.
reproduction in which eggs are released by the female; development of offspring occurs outside the mother's body.
- pet trade
the business of buying and selling animals for people to keep in their homes as pets.
photosynthetic or plant constituent of plankton; mainly unicellular algae. (Compare to zooplankton.)
an animal that mainly eats plankton
condition of hermaphroditic animals (and plants) in which the male organs and their products appear before the female organs and their products
structure produced by the calcium carbonate skeletons of coral polyps (Class Anthozoa). Coral reefs are found in warm, shallow oceans with low nutrient availability. They form the basis for rich communities of other invertebrates, plants, fish, and protists. The polyps live only on the reef surface. Because they depend on symbiotic photosynthetic algae, zooxanthellae, they cannot live where light does not penetrate.
- saltwater or marine
mainly lives in oceans, seas, or other bodies of salt water.
- seasonal breeding
breeding is confined to a particular season
remains in the same area
reproduction that includes combining the genetic contribution of two individuals, a male and a female
associates with others of its species; forms social groups.
uses touch to communicate
defends an area within the home range, occupied by a single animals or group of animals of the same species and held through overt defense, display, or advertisement
the region of the earth that surrounds the equator, from 23.5 degrees north to 23.5 degrees south.
uses sight to communicate
animal constituent of plankton; mainly small crustaceans and fish larvae. (Compare to phytoplankton.)
Allen, G. 1991. Damselfishes of the world. Melle, Germany: Mergus Publishers.
Allen, G. 1975. The anemone fishes. Their classification and biology. Second edition. Neptune City, New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications, Inc..
Arvedlund, M., M. McCormick, T. Ainsworth. 2000. Effects of Photoperiod on Growth of Larvae and Juveniles of the Anemonefish Amphiprion melanopus. Naga, The ICLARM Quarterly, 23/2: 18-23.
Balon, E. 1990. Epigenesis of an epigeneticist: the development of some alternative concepts on the early ontogeny and evolution of fishes. Guelph Ichthyol. Rev., 1: 1-48.
Boyer, M., P. Bearzi, F. Ricciardi. 2004. "Pink anemone fish" (On-line). Accessed October 18, 2005 at http://www.edge-of-reef.com/pomacentridi/clownfishen.htm.
Boyer, S. 2005. "Florida Museum of Natural History Ichthyology Department" (On-line). Accessed October 18, 2005 at http://www.flmnh.ufl.edu/fish/Gallery/Descript/PinkAnemonefish/PinkAnemonefish.html.
Coughlin, D., J. Strickler, B. Sanderson. 1992. Swimming and search behaviour in clownfish, Amphiprion perideraion, larvae. Animal Behavior, 44: 427-440.
Fautin, D., G. Allen. 1992. Field guide to anemonefishes and their host sea anemones. Francis Street, Perth: Western Australian Museum.
Kuiter, R., Tonozuka. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Australia: Zoonetics.
Lieske, E., R. Myers. 1994. Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers.
Myers, R. 1991. Micronesian reef fishes. Second Ed.. Barrigada, Guam: Coral Graphics.
Randall, J., J. Williams, D. Smith, M. Kulbicki, G. Tham, P. Labrosse, M. Kronen, E. Clua, B. Mann. 2003. Checklist of the shore and epipelagic fishes of Tonga. Tonga: Atoll Res. Bull. Nos.
Thresher, R. 1984. Reproduction in reef fishes. Neptune City, New Jersey: T.F.H. Publications, Inc. Ltd..