Amphiprion cf clarkii “Caroline”

Common Name: Caroline Clark’s Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf clarkii

Distribution: Caroline Islands and Palau

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Highly variable. Caudal fin without any sexual color differences, but seems to vary from white to cream. Stripes variable in size, from wide to relatively thin. Anal and pelvic fin usually yellow in amelanistic specimens. Few images of melanistic individuals exist, but it seems possible the ventral fins may not fully turn black (at least in some specimens).

Similar: Those from Indonesia and the Philippines are quite similar, best separated by the color of the male’s caudal fin. Those from the Mariana Arc also differ in the male’s caudal fin and in having brown pelvic and anal fins.

Notes: It’s quite likely that Palau and Yap is an area of overlap for the main Caroline Islands population and those from the Philippines (and, perhaps, even some from the Mariana Islands). Specimens from here often show a buttery yellow color in the caudal fins, but, since both sexes appear similar, lacking the bright yellow margins of nearby populations, it seems likely these either belong to the Caroline Islands population or are hybrids. More images are needed to fully understand this fish, especially of the seemingly rare melanistic form.