Amphiprion epigrammata

Common Name: Gold Maroon Clownfish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion epigrammata (Fowler, 1904)

Distribution: Andaman Sea, Western Sumatra

Type Locality: Padang, Sumatra, Indonesia

Identification: Stripes yellow in both sexes; usually well-formed and evenly thickened, rarely atrophied in large females.

Similar: The Northern Maroon Clownfish (Amphiprion cf biaculeatus) also has yellow stripes in large females, but the yellow is usually less-saturated, males have white stripes, and the stripes thin considerably with age. Other Maroon Clownfishes have thinner, whiter stripes.

Notes: This is a distinctive species that has long been recognized in the aquarium trade (often misspelled as “A. epigramma”), but has been treated by taxonomists as a synonym. An older name exists, A. ensifer Gray 1854, with a type locality listed as the Indian Ocean. This specimen is a dried skin and probably cannot be definitively identified unless genetically sequenced.

Specimens documented from the Sunda Strait have white stripes and are identifiable as A. biaculeatus. It is unknown if A. epigrammata occurs anywhere further south.

Taxonomy Note: Traditionally treated as belonging to a distinct genus, Premnas, but classified here as Amphiprion based on its close relationship with A. ocellaris and A. percula in numerous genetic phylogenies. This species was treated as a synonym of Amphiprion (=Premnas) biaculeatus in Allen 1991 and subsequent references. The elevation to full species status used in this classification should be considered provisional until a full taxonomic revision is published.