Amphiprion cf biaculeatus “Northern”

Common Name: Northern Maroon Clownfish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion cf biaculeatus

Distribution: Philippines, Northern Borneo, Taiwan, Gulf of Thailand

Type Locality: n/a

Identification: Stripes yellow in female, usually white in males (though sometimes yellow); stripes thin, the anterior stripe dorsally thickened; stripes often atrophied in large females.

Similar: The Indonesian Maroon Clownfish (Amphiprion biaculeatus) is nearly identical, but rarely (if ever) develops yellow in the middle and posterior stripe. The Gold Maroon Clownfish (Amphiprion epigrammata) has noticeably thicker stripes that tend to be more vibrantly yellow (in both sexes). The Melanesian Maroon Clownfish (Amphiprion gibbosus) has white stripes in females and often has a very thin anterior stripe.

Notes: The yellow stripes of large females are similar to the Gold Maroon Clownfish from the Indian Ocean, but the two populations are likely to be distant relatives.

Specimens from the Gulf of Thailand, South China Sea and Taiwan are poorly documented. It’s particularly noteworthy that this species is seemingly absent from the Yaeyama and Ryukyu Islands, as the similarly distributed ocellaris group is abundant in both regions. It’s possible that the variety of Entacmaea anemone favored by the biaculeatus group is simply not present north of Taiwan; other explanations are less obvious.