Premnas biaculeatus PREBIA-011497-HIGJOE-002
Report: Premnas biaculeatus (Rcvd: 1/14/97)
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.
PREBIA-011497-HIGJOE-002 Date received: 1/14/97
Identification: Premnas biaculeatus (Bloch, 1790) Geographic origin: Indo-pacific
Taxonomy: (after I.C.Z.N.)
Order Perciformes Superorder Teleostei
Species biaculeatus (Bloch, 1790, =Chaetodon)
Bright red to brownish red body with three bars, generally narrow, but varies. Bars
are typically while with a thin dark border. Bars are yellowish in some species (Sumatra region) .
Spines just below the eye are easily seen; Females much larger (to 160 mm). Males are typically
much smaller (60 – 80 mm) and often brighter. Stripes disappear from the underside up as the
fish become older. Some specimens in captivity have become almost completely solid colored.
Distinct from all other anemonefishes.
Duration male(yr): 7.0 Size male (mm): 76 Duration female : 7.0 Size female : 127
Physical differences: Female larger and darker color (red brown). Male red
Adult diet: Table shrimp, Formula 1®, squid, frozen plankton, Spirulina flake. 3 – 4 times daily
Pre-spawning activity: Vigorous cleaning of spawning site
Time spawning began: early PM
Area spawning occurred: 200 mm (8″) clay pot
Frequency of spawns: monthly
Egg description: circular mass approximately 50 mm in diameter
Approximate quantity: not indicated
Size:~ 2.0 mm
Egg changes / development: Orange after laid; next day turn dark brown. Always hatch one day
after eye reflection observed
Incubation period: 3 – 4 days
Time hatching occurred: various times during day
Size of hatching larvae: 3 mm
Yolk sac present?: sometimes
Newly hatched appearance: Something is causing eggs to hatch too soon. Larvae lay on bottom
of clay pot and wiggle with yolk sac.
Transfer / removal method: not indicated
Spawning tank size (liter):
Sides covered? Yes, blue
Lighting & photo-period: 1- 40 watt actinic fluorescent and 1 – 40 watt Ultralume 5000®
fluorescent. 15 hours
Filtration: Central system, wet/dry, skimmer, uv sterilizer. Circulation 3000 lph (800 gph)
Additives and dosages: Iodine, 2 ml/week. Instant Ocean ASW
Water temperature (F): 75 – 83F Specific gravity: 1.018 pH: 8.1 Nitrate: 20 ppm
Fry development / changes:
sometimes hatch and swim without yolk, other times hatch and lay
on bottom with yolk sac. Problem has been occurring for 2 years. Only three successful
First food offered: rotifers fed twice daily
Survival 1st week(%): 15%
Development description: metamorphosis at day 12. Survival 100% after metamorphosis.
Rearing tank size (liter):
Sides covered? Yes, black
Lighting & photoperiod: 2 – 40 watt Ultralume 500® fluorescent, 15 hours. 25 cm above
Filtration: central system, wet / dry, skimmer, denitrator
Additives and dosages: Iodine, 2 ml/weekly. Instant Ocean ASW
Water temperature (F): 75 – 83F Specific gravity: 1.018 pH 8.0 nitrate: 20 -100 ppm
Gerald Allen recognized Premnas and Amphiprion as subgenera of Amphiprionin
Allen , G. R. 1972. The anemonefishes: their classification and biology. T. F. H. Publications,
Neptune City, 288 pp. (Specifically on pages 4- -45). Stephen Spotte follows this description
giving preference to genus Amphiprion in Spotte, S. 1992. Captive seawater fishes: science and
technology. Wiley-Interscience Publication, New York, 942 pp. (Specifically on pg 716).
However, Allen is acknowledged as validating Premnas biaculeatus in 1991.
This species has been previously listed under the following names: Chaetodon biaculeatus
(Bloch, 1790), Lutjanos trifasciatus (Schneider in Bloch & Schneider, 1801), Scorpaena
aculeata, Holocentrus sonnerat (Lacepede, 1802), Holocanthus biaculeatus, Premnas
trifasciatus( Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830), P. leucodesmus (Cuvier (ex Kuhl & van
Hasslet)), P. semicinctus ( Cuvier in Cuvier & Valenciennes, 1830) , P. unicolor (Cuvier, 1829),
Sargus ensifer (Gronow in Gray 1854), and Premnas epigrammata (Fowler, 1904).
Word origin: Premnas; very few Greek or Latin roots end with an “s” following an “a”and the
actual meaning of this word could be “based” in another language. The Greek word premn, -o,
=um, means stem or a tree trunk. It could be based on the Latin root pre, meaning before,
however, the closest derivation of -mnas is mnen, -at, -on which is Greek for memory or
remember. The species provides almost equal mystery; biaculeatus; bi being Latin for two, twice or double; and acule, =us, being Latin for a sting, or horn. The ending is again uncommon, however the two known roots indicate “two horns” which would seem appropriate since this species has one or two well developed spines below the eye (Axelrod, et al., 1969) and
the common name of Spine-cheeked Anemone or clownfish.
Suggested reading: Fautine, Daphne G., & Allen, Gerald R., Anemonefishes and their Host
Anemones, 1994, Tetra Press, Germany, 158 pages, ISBN 1-56465-118-5