Amphiprion gibbosus

Common Name: Melanesian Maroon Clownfish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion gibbosus (Castelnau, 1875)

Distribution: Papua New Guinea, Solomon Islands, Eastern Australia

Type Locality: Cape York, Queensland, Australia

Identification: Stripes white in both sexes (only rarely with any yellow present); stripes thin, the anterior stripe often thinned dorsally; stripes often atrophied in large females.

Similar: The Indonesian Maroon Clownfish (Amphiprion biaculeatus) always has a wide anterior stripe dorsally, which often turns yellow; however, specimens with a wide, white anterior stripe could be either species and are best separated by location. Other Maroon Clownfishes have yellow in all stripes, at least in females.

Notes: Specimens from Papua New Guinea occasionally show unusual aberrations to their stripes and are the source of the famed Lightning Maroon Clownfish first bred by Matt Pedersen.

The full range of this species is uncertain. Specimens from West Papua may be genetically closest to this fish. It’s also possible that the Australian population may be distinct from Papua New Guinea and the Solomon Islands. In general, Australian specimens seem to most consistently show a thin anterior stripe.

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.