Amphiprion cf melanopus “Caledonia”

Common Name: Caledonian Melanopus Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf melanopus

Distribution: New Caledonia and Vanuatu

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Single stripe. Usually quite brightly colored, with limited black along the sides, rarely extending into the caudal peduncle. Anal fin yellow, sometimes with a black margin. Pelvic fins sexually dichromatic; mostly black in females, apically black in males.

Similar: The bright colors and reduced black are most similar to A. ephippium, which differs most prominently in lacking a stripe as an adult. The Fijian A. barberi also has a light anal fin, but it a duller fish that typically has little black along the sides and never has dark pelvic fins. Others in this group have a dark anal fin.

Notes: This is one of the most recognizable species in the melanopus group, making it somewhat surprising that it has continues to go unnoticed by taxonomists. Specimens from Vanuatu occasionally enter the aquarium trade and may be sold as “Fire Anemonefish”, not to be confused with the similarly named fish from the Eastern Indian Ocean, A. ephippium.