Amphiprion cf clarkii “Indonesia”

Common Name: Indonesian Clark’s Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf clarkii

Distribution: Indonesia, Christmas and Cocos Islands in the Eastern Indian Ocean, Timor Sea.

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Identical to the northern population in the Philippines. Highly variable. Caudal fin usually creamy yellow; males with upper/lower margins solid yellow. Anal fin either orange or dark. Pelvic fins usually orange, but sometimes dark. Dorsal fin usually dark, but often orange or brown in highly amelanistic individuals. Body can vary from mostly orange to mostly black, but most fall somewhere in the middle of these extremes. Stripes usually relatively wide.

Similar: Those from Philippines are essentially identical and only questionably distinct. The northern A. japonicus differs mostly in the solidly yellow caudal fin of males and the two likely hybridize where their ranges abut. The population from the Caroline Islands is nearly identical, but males seem to lack the yellow margins in the caudal fin and may always have light-colored anal fins.

Notes: It’s not clear if this southern population is in any meaningful way distinct from those found to the north in the Philippines. The two have likely experienced regular periods of isolation during the Pleistocene (which in the melanoplus and polymnus groups has resulted in speciation). Phenotypically, the two seem identical, but it seems reasonable to assume that the genetic differences between them are on par with A. melanoplus versus A. frenatus. Specimens from Bali often have bright yellow caudal fins and many are likely hybridized with the Andaman Clark’s Anemonefish.

This is one of the most abundant species in the aquarium trade.