Amphiprion cf latifasciatus “Yellowmargin”

Common Name: Yellowmargin Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf latifasciatus

Distribution: Southwest Madagascar

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Two stripes, the middle usually not noticeably wider than the anterior stripe. Body orange; darkened throughout the body. Caudal fin mostly clear, with prominent yellow margins on the upper and lower edges. Dorsal fin variable; some individuals have the spinous portion dusky or greatly darkened, while others have the fins bright yellow-orange throughout. Ventral fins bright yellow-orange. Pectoral fins usually bright orange, but specimens with the dorsal fin darkened may have this black basally.

Similar: Quite like the true Wideband Anemonefish (A. latifasciatus) from reefs further north, but differs in that both sexes have the caudal fin edged in yellow and, typically, the middle stripe is no wider than the anterior stripe. The Whitemargin Anemonefish (A. cf. latifasciatus) of northeast Madagascar has a much wider middle stripe and white margins to the caudal and dorsal fins. The African Amphiprion allardi has a fully white caudal fin and a thinner middle stripe. The true Amphiprion clarkii of the Indian Ocean is also somewhat similar, but has a rounded (vs. slightly lunate) caudal fin and an entirely dark dorsal fin.

Notes: A rarely observed fish in need of more study, primarily known from reefs near Toliara but likely ranging further north. Divergent water currents and a lack of habitat may have created a barrier allowing it to speciate in isolation from its northern sister species. But its unclear how distinct these populations are, as the differences between them aren’t always consistent. Yellow margined specimens are sometimes seen in the north, but this seems to be a variation found in males. Only in the south of Madagascar do both sexes share this caudal patterning.

This fish seems to have been imported into the aquarium trade at least once, with pairs going to B-box Aquarium and Namamugi Kaisuigyo Center.