Ocellaris/False Percula/Common Clownfish

Ocellaris/False Percula/Common Clownfish Amphiprion ocellaris

Type of Animal:

Very dependent on anemones- reefs, shallow lagoons, outer reef slopes/faces, sheltered lagoons, reef flats, sand areas, turbid bays, prefer temps of 75.2-89.6 F & pH higher than 6.34

E Indian Ocean & W Pacific as far N as S Japan & far S as N Australia

Small stocky oval-shaped fish, laterally compressed w/ round profile, orange to reddish-brown body, (black variety w/ 3 white stripes common off N Australia), 3 vertical white stripes outlined w/ black line-1 behind eye, 2nd in middle & 3rd towards tail area, all fins outlined w/ black line, females larger than males

Copepods, amphipods, algae, polychaete worms, leftovers from anemone meals, shrimp, krill, squid, zooplankton, phytoplankton, anemone tentacles, planktonic fish eggs, fish larvae/fry

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, aquaculture, & zoos

All clownfish born as males w/ most dominant clownfish becoming female. Colony ranges from 1 monogamous pair to monogamous pair w/ juveniles/subordinate males. When female dies, her mate becomes female & next male in hierarchy or new male becomes breeding partner. Juveniles sometimes found alone. Dominance determined by size.

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: Colony
Male: 0.023 oz
Female: 0.046 oz
8-10 days 

Life Span:
3-10 years

Body Length:
Male: 1.5 in
Female: 3 in

Main predators of adults are larger fish, eels, & sharks. Many fish & brittle stars eat the eggs.
Like other clownfish/anemonefish, well-known for mutualistic relationships w/ anemones. Anemone protects clownfish from predators as well as providing food through scraps left in anemone’s meal & dead anemone tentacles. In return, clownfish defend anemone fiercely from predators/intruding clownfish.
Pairs/colonies extremely territorial, often fighting to the death w/ intruders. Females will especially fight to the death.
Maturity determined more by size than age.
They only take anemones not filled by other clownfish.
Also called False Clown Anemonefish, False Clownfish, False Anemonefish, & Anemone Demoiselle.
Spawning occurs during full moon.
After hatching, fry drift for a week among plankton, being transported along currents.
Females release anything from 100-1,000 eggs.

Fun Fact(s):
Females/dominant males produce chirps/pops while charging/chasing subordinates.
Mucus layer in skin makes it immune to anemone’s sting. Some immunity may be acquired.
These fish became extremely popular after 2003 movie Finding Nemo, in which main character was this species. Many aquarium goers call them Nemo fish.
They’re very popular in home aquariums.
These highly territorial fish will even attack divers who come too close to anemone.
Ocellaris/False Percula/Common Clownfish, Shedd Aquarium, taken by me

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