Amphiprion cf melanopus “Australia”

Common Name: Australian Melanopus Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf melanopus

Distribution: Great Barrier Reef to New South Wales. Possibly also in Coral Sea and Lord Howe Island.

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Single stripe. Ventral fins black, though anal fin often with posterior portions orange. Both sexes with black well-developed along the back and sides. Usually quite brightly colored.

Similar: Essentially identical to the true A. melanopus of Indonesia and A. cf melanopus from Micronesia, Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands, but tends to be a bit brighter in its base color and often with a distinctive curvilinear pattern created by the posterior margin of the black sides, stretching from beneath the dorsal fin, through the caudal peduncle and into the anal fin. The Vanuautu and New Caledonian A. cf melanopus has relatively little black along the body, as well as having sexually dichromatic pelvic fins and an orange anal fin.

Notes: The diagnostic curvilinear pattern described above is only found in a portion of this population, but it is prevalent enough and distinct enough to provide strong evidence that this fish differs from others in the melanopus group.