Amphiprion ocellaris AMPOCE-011497-HIGJOE-005

This entry was posted on Friday, January 14th, 1994 and is filed under Clownfishes, Spawning Reports.

The Breeder’s Registry© Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations from aquarist unless noted otherwise (see comments). Information may be reproduced providing the Breeder’s Registry is cited.

Breeder ID: AMPOCE-011497-HIGJOE-005

Date received: 1/14/97

Identification: Amphiprion ocellaris (Cuvier, 1830)

Geographic origin: Indo-Pacific

Taxonomy: (after I.C.Z.N.)

Kingdom Animalia

Phylum Chordata

Subphylum Vertebrata

Class Osteichthyes

Order Perciformes Superorder Teleostei

Family Pomacentridae

Genus Amphiprion

Species ocellaris (Cuvier, 1830)


Description: Orange body with three distinct white body stripes (or bars ); the head stripe is anterior to the eye and continues down across the preoperculum. The body stripe extends from between the spinous (anterior) and soft-rayed portion of the dorsal through the body to the abdomen just in front of the anal fin with the center of the stripe “bulging” towards the head. The tail stripe covers the caudal peduncle. The stripes have narrow black margins. The fins are rimmed in black just prior to a small non-pigmented edge. A. ocellaris is commonly confused with A. percula which is “shorter” in height (A. Percula is 3.1 – 3.3 in head-length compared to 2.1 – 2.9 head-length for A. ocellaris). Additionally A. ocellaris has 11 dorsal spines (rarely 10) compared to A. percula having 10 dorsal spines (rarely 9). Maximum size is listed by most sources at 90 mm – 95 mm, however, Burgess, 1988, lists 150 mm. Females are typically larger than the male.

Distribution is from the Indo-Malaysian Archipelago, Philippines, southward to northwestern Australia and northward to the Ryukyu Islands. The symbiotic relationship of clownfishes is well documented and this species is found with Heteractis magnifica (Qouy & Gaimard, 1833), Stichodactyla gigantea (Forsskål, 1775) and S. mertensii (Brandt, 1835).


Duration male(yr): 5

Size male (mm): 50

Duration female (yr): 5

Size female (mm): 75

Broodstock notes: 5 pair actively spawning.

Physical differences: Female is larger in all 5 pairs. Stockier in appearance.

Adult diet: Formula 1®, shrimp, shrimp, smelt roe, spirulina flake. Fed 4 times daily.

Pre-spawning activity: Nervous, attack fingers at feeding. Cleaning pot at nest site.

Time spawning began: early afternoon to late evening

Area spawning occurred: Clay pots; sometimes inside, sometimes outside

Frequency of spawning: monthly

Egg Description: circular orange mass; ~ 50 mm diameter

Approximate quantity: varies

Size: not indicated

Incubation: 7- 9 days

Time hatching occurred: after lights out

Size at hatching: ~4 mm

Yolk sac present? No

Egg changes / development: not indicated

Transfer / removal method: sometimes, eggs kept submerged while moving

Spawning tank size (liter): 75

Sides of tank covered? Yes, blue

Lighting & photo period: 2 – Daylight HO fluorescent, 16 hours approximately 10 cm from surface.

Filtration: Central system wet/dry, protein skimmer, UV sterilizer, 1,500 gph

Additives and dosages: Instant Ocean® ASW; Make-up water – tap; Iodine 3 ml/weekly

Water temperature: 78 – 84 F

Specific gravity: 1.018

pH: 8.1

Nitrate: 20 ppm

Fry development / changes: swim with jerking motions

First Food Offered: Branchionus plicatilis and greenwater, 2 times per day

Second Food Offered: Newly hatched Artemia, (day 3)

Survival: Hatching is inconsistent, many nests fail to hatch. Of those that do long term survival 90%, most losses occur first week

Development description: Metamorphosis at day 10 – 12 

Rearing tank size (liter): 75

Sides covered?: Yes, black

Lighting & photo period: Two 40 watt Ultralime 5000® fluorescent, 16 hours, 30 cm from surface

Filtration: Airstones only. Central wet/dry; protein skimmer

Additives & doses: Instant Ocean ASW®, 25% changed monthly. Iodine 3 ml/weekly

Water temperature: 75 – 82 F

Specific gravity: 1.018

pH: 8.1

Nitrate: 20 – 100 ppm

Original description: Cuvier first described Amphiprion ocellaris in 1830 in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1830:399 in the Hist. Nat. Poiss. V.5 reference 999, from a specimen collected in Sumatra, Indonesia. Validated by Ida in Masuda et al., 1984 and Allen in 1991.


Amphiprion melanurus, Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes 1830:400 in Hist. Nat. Poiss. v. 5; ref.
999, From a single (Holotype ) specimen also collected in Sumatra, Indonesia. Synonym of
Amphiprion ocellaris Cuvier 1830 (Allen 1991:237 [ref. 19344]).

Amphiprion bicolor, Castelnau 1873:92 in Proc. Zool. Acclim. Soc. Victoria v. 2; ref. 758. From
a single (Holotype) specimen collected near Darwin, Northern Terr., Synonym of Amphiprion
Cuvier1830 (Allen 1991:237 [ref. 19344]).

Vernacular name: Common clownfish, Ocellaris clownfish, Anemone Demoiselle, False Clown Anemonefish, False percula clownfish

Word origin: Amphiprion is from the Greek roots amph, -i, -o, meaning Around, on both sides;double, and -prion which means a saw. The genus ocellaris is confusing; the Latin root o, meaning an egg; cell, -a, -i, meaning a cell; or perhaps ocell, =us, meaning little eye andris
meaning laughter (little laughing eye?). The synonym melanurus is composed of the Greek roots melan, -o, meaning black; and ur, =a, -o, meaning tail (thus black tail). The synonym bicolor means two colors (bi = two).

Suggested reading:

Fautin, Daphne G., and Gerald R. Allen, Anemone Fishes and their Host Sea Anemones,
Tetra-Press, Germany, 1994 ISBN 1-56465-118-5

Hoff, Frank H., Conditioning, Spawning and Rearing of Fish with Emphasis on Marine
Clownfish, Aquaculture Consultants Inc., Dade City, FL, 33525 USA 1996

Moe, Martin A., The Marine Aquarium Reference: systems and invertebrates, Green Turtle
Publications, Plantation, FL 33318 USA 1989 ISBN 0-939960-05-2 : 21.95

About this report: Information contained in this report is taken from submitted observations. Taxonomy, Synonomy, Original description , Word origin and Suggested reading are provided by member(s) of The Breeder’s Registry staff. Information is presented under the belief that it is accurate. If you have information in addition to, or contrary to that presented you are encouraged to contact the Breeder’s Registry. Permission is granted for “one-time” personal use. Reproduction as distributed or accessible media is prohibited without prior written permission. All rights reserved. 1997

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