Amphiprion cf melanopus “Melanesia”

Common Name: Melanesian Melanopus Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf melanopus

Distribution: Melanesia, from Papua New Guinea to the Solomon Islands, probably into neighboring regions of West Papua and the Coral Sea.

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Single stripe. Ventral fins black. Both sexes with black well-developed along the back and sides.

Similar: Essentially identical to the true A. melanopus of Indonesia and the Micronesian and Samoan A. cf melanopus, and separated here only because of biogeography. The Australian A. cf melanopus is typically brighter in color and with the caudal peduncle and posterior anal fin orange (though this varies within the population). The Vanuautu and New Caledonian A. cf melanopus is much brighter and has relatively little black along the body, as well as having sexually dichromatic pelvic fins and an orange anal fin.

Notes: There is little obvious difference between this fish and its relatives in Indonesia and Melanesia, but it is presumed that these differ, at least genetically. It’s impossible to know how far west this population extends until a thorough investigation into the population genetics of these fishes is completed.