Amphiprion ocellaris AMPOCE-041599-NESJEF-007

This entry was posted on Thursday, April 15th, 1999 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-041599-NESJEF-007

Date received: 4/15/99

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).

Length of time in captivity male: 3 months

Size male (mm): 37 – 50

Length of time in captivity female: 3 months

Size female (mm): 76

Physical differences: Male is smaller. Female is much larger, more robust, especially in abdomen.

Adult diet: Gelatin based food (Hoff, 1996), seafood paste mix (Moe, 1989), flake food, beefheart, newly hatched brine shrimp. 2 – 3 times per day

Pre-spawning activity: Female becomes rotund in abdomen.

Time spawning began: mid – l;ate afternoon

Area spawning occurred: upper inside of clay flower pot.

Frequency of spawning: ~ 2 weeks

Egg Description: orange eggs spread over small area (~ 37 mm x 64 mm)

Approximate quantity: ~250

Size: not indicated

Incubation: 7-8 days

Time hatching occurred: ~ 1 hour after dark

Size at hatching: not indicated

Yolk sac present? No

Egg changes / development: Color changed to brown after 2 days, then purpleish after 4 -5 days, then silver colored (larval eye) on day 7.

Transfer / removal method: not indicated 

Spawning tank size (liter): 82 (partioned section of a 260 liter tank (70 gallons)

Sides of tank covered? No

Lighting & photo period: 2 fluorescent strip lights, standard shoplight fixture. 12 hour ~ 20 – 25 cm from surface

Filtration: Wet/dry, outside box filter Aquaclear 2000®, protein skimmer (with ozone)

Additives and dosages: Coralife® ASW and trace elements (as per labeled instructions. 25% water change 4 – 6 weeks

Water temperature: 79 – 81ðF

Specific gravity: 1.020

pH: ~ 8.3

Nitrate: 5 – 10 ppm

Fry development / changes: Silvery larvae

First Food Offered: Brachionus plicatilis, 3 times per day

Second Food Offered: Pulverized flake food at day 5, 3 x day.

Survival: not indicated, but at time of report a totla of 250 – 300 juveniles have been raised.

Development description: Metamorphosis 9 days after hatch 

Rearing tank size (liter): 27

Sides covered?: Yes, all sides black

Lighting & photo period: ambient

Additives & doses: Change water every 4- 5 days ( 15 – 20%)

Water parameters: same as adult (spawning) tank

Comments: The original male died and was replaced with another male and spawning began 2 weeks later. Nests were laid as solid masses, but after 2 – 3 days eggs began dropping away. No fungus observed and Hoff suggests that the age of the female may be the cause. The yield from each nest was poor. 3 months after the introduction of the new male, the female died (jumped out of tank). Another larger fish has been introduced.  

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 and -ris 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 synonymbicolor means two colors (bi = two).

Suggested Reading:

Fautine, Daphine G. and Allen, Gerald R., Anemone Fishes and Their Host Sea Anemones
, 1994,
Tetra-Press, Tetra Werke, Dr. rer. Nat. Ulrich Baensch GmbH, P. O. Box 1580, D-49304 Mella,
Germany. Distributed in USA by TetraSales (Division of Warner Lambert), 3001 Commerce
Street, Blacksburg, VA 24060-6671, USA. WL-Code: 16088. ISBN 1-56465-118-5, hardbound,
157 pages.

Hoff, Frank H., Conditioning, Spawning and Rearing of Fish With Emphasis on Marine Clownfish
, 1996, Aquaculture Consultants, Inc., 33418 Old Saint Joe Road, Dade City, FL
33525, USA, softbound, 212 pages.

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

Wilkerson, Joyce D., 1998, Clownfishes: A Guide to Their Captive Care, Breeding & Natural History
, Microcosm Ltd., Shelburne, Vermont. ISBN 1-890087-04-1 softbound, 240 pages.

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. 1999

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