Skunk clownfish or nosestripe anemonefish Amphiprion akallopisos Tanzania 3

The skunk clownfish (Amphiprion akallopisos) or nose striped anemone fish is a common inhabitant on Tanzanian reefs. Skunk clownfish get their name from the long white stripe that runs the length of their backs.

The skunk clownfish is a light pinkish orange color, with a single, narrow, white stripe running from the mouth to the back of the tail fin and can grow as large as 11 cm in length.As with other anemonefish, the skunk clownfish is a protandrous hemaphrodite, and maintains a hierarchy within the host anemone that consists of a mating pair, of which the female is the largest, and non-mating males which get progressively smaller in size.

Skunk Clown

HABITAT

The Skunk Clown are found across the Indo-West Pacific area from East Africa, Madagascar, Comoro Islands, Seychelles, Andaman Sea, Sumatra and the Seribu Islands (Java Sea). It is not found in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. In Tanzanian waters they are mainly found in the Magnificent anemone (Heteractis magnificae) and reside in waters from 1 to 15 meters with a moderate to strong current.

DIET

The Skunk Clownfish are omnivorous and can feed on undigested food from their host anemone, primarily however they feed on small zooplankton in the water column, such as copepods and tunicate larvae, with a small portion of their diet coming from algae.

Skunk Clown

REPRODUCTION

In a group of clownfish based in an anemone, there is a very strict hierarchy. The largest and most aggressive fish, the female is found at the top of the pecking order. Clownfish are sequential hermaphrodites, in that they develop into males first and when they mature they become females. Only two fish, the dominant male and the female, in a group reproduce through external fertilization. The eggs are laid around the time of a full moon alongside the host anemone often underneath a fold alongside the pedal foot. The male parent tends the eggs.

USE OF SOUND

The skunk clown, and some other clownfish, use sound to defend their territory mainly when reproducing and when eggs have been laid. Noises resembling pops and chirps are heard when interacting with invading fish and divers who invade the territories. Studies have shown that it is the female that defends the anemone using sound, as well as a physical attack accompanied by bites which feel similar to a hard pinch. They use three different types of sounds, pops, short chirps, and long chirps.

Their territory extends some five to seven meters around their anemone . When not spawning they are generally fairly docile towards divers and will retreat to their anemone for protection.

Skunk ClownSkunk Clown can be kept in an aquarium but aquarists tend to favor the more colorful species of Clown Fish. Nevertheless they are hardy fish easy to feed and look after.

Aquariums

Skunk Clown are kept in aquariums and are reef safe being happier if they have an anemone and are very hardy and easy to keep and are great for beginners. They have been bred in captivity and captive bred specimens are available and it is preferable to purchase captive bred specimens. They may pick on passive fishes that have been added after them particularly during spawning . Their relatively small size ( 11cm)makes them a suitable choice for smaller aquaria.

SKUNK CLOWN CLASSIFICATION

Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Labroidei
Family: Pomacentridae
Subfamily: Amphiprioninae
Genus: Amphiprion
Species: A. akallopisos

LITERATURE CITED

Mann, D. A.; Lobel, P. S. 1998. “Acoustic behavior of the damselfish Dascyllus albisella: behavioral and geographic variation.” Environmental Biology of Fishes. Vol. 51:421-428.

Fautin, Daphne G.; Allen, Gerald R. (1992). Field Guide to Anemone Fishes and Their Host Sea Anemones.

USEFUL LITERATURE

Dr. Burgess’s Atlas of Marine Aquarium Fishes

Damselfishes & Anemonefishes (Reef Fishes)

Clown Fish as Pets. Clown Fish Owners Manual

 

EQUIPMENT USED

 

Canon 7D

Ikelite 7D Housing

Twin Ikelite DS 161 Strobes

Flat Ikelite Lens Port

Ikelite Dual Synch Cord 

Ikelite 5.1 inch Port body

 

 
IMAGES OF SKUNK CLOWNFISH

 Skunk clownfish or nosestripe anemonefish Amphiprion akallopisos Tanzania 4
 Skunk clownfish or nosestripe anemonefish Amphiprion akallopisos Tanzania 1

Skunk clownfish or nosestripe anemonefish Amphiprion akallopisos Tanzania 2

About The Author

Alan Sutton is an underwater photographer and writer at Seaunseen.

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2 Responses

  1. Magnificent Anemone - Seaunseen

    […] fish which reside in the anemones tentacles.In Tanzanian waters this is almost exclusively the Skunk clown, Amphiprion akallopisos. It is extremely rare to see Amphiprion clarki or Amphiprion allardi in […]

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