Amphiprion ocellaris AMPOCE-041599-NESJEF-008

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-008 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: 2 months

Size male (mm):37 – 50

Length of time in captivity female: 2 months

Size female (mm): 50

Physical differences: Male is smaller and darker. Female is more rotung in abdomen.

Adult diet: Gelatin based food (Hoff, 1996), flake food, Fed 3 times per day

Pre-spawning activity: Female becomes full in abdomen.

Time spawning began: mid – late afternoon

Area spawning occurred: upper inside of clay flower pot or flat surface of conch shell

Frequency of spawning: ~ 2 weeks

Egg Description: white eggs spread over small area oval mass (~ 25 mm x 50 mm)

Approximate quantity: ~100

Size: not indicated

Incubation: 7-8 days

Time hatching occurred: ~ 1 hour after dark

Size at hatching: ~ 8 mm

Yolk sac present? No

Egg changes / development: Color changed to purple after 4 – 5 days, then silver (eye of larvae) on day 7. Attracted to light

Transfer / removal method: not removed

Spawning tank size (liter): 110 liters (partioned section of a 260 liter tank (70 gallons)

Sides of tank covered? No

Lighting & photo period: 2 fluorescent strip lights, standard shoplight fixture. 14 hour ~ 15 cm from surface

Filtration: Undergravel filter, outside box filter Aquaclear 2000®.

Additives and dosages: Instant Ocean® ASW ~25% water change 4 – 6 weeks. Trace elements, Hawaian Marine® every two weeks as per directions.

Water temperature: 79 – 81ðF

Specific gravity: 1.020

pH: ~ 8.3

Nitrate: 10 ppm

Fry development / changes: Silvery larvae

First Food Offered: Branchionus plicatilis, 3 times per day

Second Food Offered: Dry flakefood (ground) at day 4/5, 3 x day.

Survival: Week 1 – 40; week 2 – 20; week 3 and beyond 13. Juveniles reared to 37 – 50 mm

Development description: Metamorphosis 9 days after hatch


Rearing tank size (liter): 27

Sides covered?: Yes, all sides black

Lighting & photo period: one 20 watt fluorescent, 14 hours, 15 cm from surface.

Additives & doses: Instant Ocean® ASW Change water every day 15%

Water parameters: same as adult (spawning) tank

Comments: This report documents the aquarist’s initial efforts to breed A. ocellaris beginning in 1983-84. The pair continued to lay eggs every two weeks.


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
rootsmelan, -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
, 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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