Amphiprion thiellei

Common Name: Thielle’s Anemonefish

Scientific Name: Amphiprion thielle Burgess, 1981

Distribution: Philippines, Indonesia, probably into Melanesia

Type Locality: Aquarium specimen, reportedly from Cebu, Philippines

Identification: Anterior stripe well developed; middle and posterior stripes highly atrophied, only present dorsally as small ovular markings. Dorsal fin deeply incised medially. Body and fins bright orange.

Similar: Perhaps most similar to another hybrid, A. leucokranos, which lacks any indication of the middle and posterior stripes.

Notes: This fish is a hybrid of A. sandaracinos and A. cf ocellaris, and has been observed in mixed pairs with A. cf ocellaris in Cebu, Philippines. It has also been sighted from Sabah, and, since its parent species occur throughout the Coral Triangle, it is plausible that this rarely seen fish occurs widely in the region. It is unknown is a similar hybrid with A. percula might occur in Melanesia, but it seems reasonable to expect it does.

Relative to “A. leucokranos“, which is a result of two species intermixing at the edge of their ranges, “A. thiellei” is an apparent result of ecological intermixing, where both parent species utilize the same host anemone, Stichodactyla mertensi, and breed due to their proximity. This fish is seemingly far rarer than “A. leucokranos“, with aquarium specimens being especially uncommon.

The original species description appeared in Tropical Fish Hobbyist, alongside the description of Pomacentrus alleni. This is the only member of the genus to have been published first in this manner, rather than a more traditional peer-reviewed journal or book.