Amphiprion cf melanopus “Micronesia”

Common Name: Micronesian Melanopus Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf melanopus

Distribution: Micronesia, from Palau to the Mariana Islands and east to the Marshall Islands

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 Melanesian 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, based on pattern of endemism seen elsewhere in this group and the genus as a whole. It’s also possible that the population from the Mariana Islands may differ from other Micronesian locations, but, again, genetic data is needed.