Amphiprion cf akindynos “New Caledonia”

Common Name: Caledonia Akindynos Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf akindynos

Distribution: New Caledonia, including the Loyalty Islands and Isle of Pines. Possibly also at the Chesterfield Islands. Recently reported from Tanna, Vanuatu.

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Caudal fin white and truncate. Two thin stripes; the anterior stripe usually broken dorsally in mature specimens. Body colored a dark russet-brown. Dorsal fin usually concolorous with the body, usually not appearing yellowed. Ventral fins typically quite dark, either concolorous with the body or darker.

Similar: The Australian A. akindynos is nearly identical, differing most noticeably in having more lightly colored ventral fins. Amphiprion mccullochi is a darker fish and has only a single stripe. The dark morph of A. chrysopterus can appear quite similar as well, but these usually possess a more forked or lunate caudal fin when mature. The dark morph of A. cf chrysopterus “New Guinea” has ventral fins much darker than the body. The dark morph of A. cf chrysopterus “Vanuatu” is especially difficult to distinguish, though it should tend towards having yellower fins.

Notes: The large distance separating this population from the similar A. akindynos of subtropical Eastern Australia, as well as the subtle phenotypic differences between them, suggests these two are deserving of separate species status. The precise limits of this fish are not yet well-known. It should be expected at the nearby Chesterfield Islands, and it could conceivably be expected to the south at Norfolk Island, at least as a waif. Specimens that appear to be this species were recently collected from Tanna, Vanuatu, not far from the Loyalty Islands.

Aquarium specimens identified as A. akindynos are likely to be this species, as little collection takes place in subtropical Eastern Australia.