Amphiprion sebae

Common Name: Sebae Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion sebae Bleeker, 1853

Distribution: Persian Gulf, Maldives east to Andaman Sea and Bali. Probably in Java Sea.

Type Locality: Jakarta, Java, Indonesia

Identification: Caudal fin yellow, though aberrant specimens sometimes have extensive black. Middle stripe reaches belly; variable in width, but usually quite wide. Posterior stripe absent. Belly and ventral fins variable in color, either yellow or black.

Similar: The yellow caudal fin is unlike others in the polymnus group. Aberrant specimens with extensive black in the caudal fin can look much like the Indonesian A. polymnus, but the lack of the posterior stripe tells them apart. Indian Ocean populations of A. clarkii are more likely to be confused, but these lack the white dorsal fin margin and have the posterior stripe weakly present.

Notes: The distribution of A. sebae is in many ways similar to what is seen in the clarkii group, with a fairly homogeneous Indian Ocean phenotype and several well-defined smaller populations in the Pacific. It’s not clear from photographs if there is any meaningful difference between the A. sebae found in the Eastern Indian Ocean and those in the Maldives and Persian Gulf. Anecdotally, the eastern populations is most often entirely black, while the western form usually has the yellow base color exposed ventrally. Mostly black individuals are known from Oman and Southeastern India, but there are seemingly no instances of yellow-bellied specimens in the eastern population.

The common and scientific name honors 18th-century Dutch naturalist Albertus Seba, who published a lavish series of illustrations depicting, in part, marinelife of the Indo-Pacific.

Known to form mixed-species pairs with A. polymnus at Bali, and can be expected to produce hybrids in this area of overlap.