|Latin name||Amphiprion ocellaris - Cuvier, 1830|
|Common name||Ocellaris Clownfish|
|Family||Pomacentridae - Amphiprion|
|Origin||East Indian Ocean, Australia, Indonesia|
|Max length||11.0 cm (4.3")|
As aquarium fish
One pair per aquarium
This species lives in pairs (male and female), where the female is the biggest.
One can typically have only one pair per aquarium, as it is very territorial towards its own kind.
Sometimes one can successfully keep one female and several males.
Bred in captivity
This species can be bred in captivity, one can therefore consider asking your local fish store for a captive bred specimen.
Here one can find a list of the various kinds of Anemones and the fishes which typically go together with them.
This species can change gender, male to female, where normally the female is the bigger.
Subgenus: Actinicola (Clownfish)
There are two species in the subgenus Actinicola, which resemble each other closely. They have such a close link with their anemones -if there are any-, that they rarely swim far away from them.
They breed easily and homebred individuals are often seen in fish stores. These captive bred specimens have also a higher survival rate in an aquarium, than their wild cousins.
A. ocellaris has two variations in the wild, orange and black, both with white markings. The homebred, have numerous variations.
A. percula resembles ocellaris, but often has wide black stripes along the white markings. There are many variations, for example they can have large black areas where they are normally orange.
Family description (Pomacentridae)
Clown-/Damselfish (Pomacentridae) can be divided into three groups as described below.
Clown-/Anemonefish (Amphiprioninae) are characterised in that they spend most of their time in an anemone. They can be kept outside of one and sometimes will find another coral to hide in. This can be Hammercoral, Xenia or similar. Clownfish exhibit fascinating social behaviour, especially when carrying eggs. This is even more interesting when kept with an anemone or a substitute.
They go normally in pairs and most are easy to keep in aquaria. Clownfish can easily be kept in small tanks, as they do not swim around a lot.
It is important to have a male and female or two males to one female, as two females do not tolerate each other. When one acquires two fish of very different size or two small individuals, it is likely they will become a pair.
When setting up a reef aquarium, Clownfish are the obvious choice. They can be aggressive towards other kinds of fish, but mainly when these get too close to their hiding place. They do tend to get more aggressive when they have an anemone or when carrying eggs.
Most of Clownfish are of the Amphiprion genus, but there is a single species in the Premnas genus.
Chromis (Chrominae) encompass the genera, Acanthochromis, Altrichthys, Chromis, Azurina and Dascyllus, but when talking about Chromis it is normally understood to mean the fish of the Chromis genus specifically.
Fish in the Chromis genus are not as hardy as the Clown or Damselfish, but are very attractive with their shiny blue and green colour nuances. Overall the fish in this group are less aggressive than many others in this family and are often seen in shoals. They do become more aggressive when pairing or laying eggs.
Fish in this group live mainly on zooplankton and must be fed frequently, if possible several times a day.
Some in this group are often seen hiding in stony corals e.g. Acropora, but some species may look for shelter in anemones.
Damselfish (Pomacentrinae and Lepidozyginae) are typically hardy, very attractive, but very territorial. Some species are very coulorful when young, but become dull over time.
They live typically of a mixture of zooplankton and algae, some live more on algae and some on zooplankton. Some Damselfish even cultivate their preferred algae in a small "garden", so they have their own foodsource. This does explain their aggression towards other fish and invertebrates, which want to eat their algae.
Because of their territorial behaviour it is best to keep only one Damselfish per aquarium, unless it is a very large tank. One should consider not acquiring Damselfish, if at a later stage very peaceful or docile fish will be kept, as it is almost impossible to catch them, without removing rocks from the tank. Sometimes it is possible to entice them to hide somewhere, where they can be caught, i.e. a hollow stone. In a large aquarium where a Damselfish has its own territorium, this is a much smaller problem.
Damsels are placed in the genera; Abudefduf, Amblyglyphidodon, Amblypomacentrus, Cheiloprion, Chrysiptera, Dischistodus, Hemiglyphidodon, Hypsypops, Lepidozygus, Mecaenichthys, Microspathodon, Neoglyphidodon, Neopomacentrus, Nexilosus, Parma, Plectroglyphidodon, Pomacentrus, Pomachromis, Pristotis, Similiparma, Stegastes and Teixeirichthys.
|Distribution||Indo-West Pacific: eastern Indian Ocean including Andaman and Nicobar Islands, Thailand, Malaysia, and northwest Australia to Singapore, Indonesia, and the Philippines; ranges north to Taiwan and the Ryukyu Islands.|
|English common names||Western clownfish, Clown anemonefish, Western clown anemonefish, False clown anemonefish|
|Danish common names||Almindelig klovnfisk|
References and further reading
Dr. Daphne G. Fautin & Dr. Gerald R. Allen. 1992. FIELD GUIDE TO ANEMONE FISHES AND THEIR HOST SEA ANEMONES - Western Australian Museum - (English)
Henry C. Schultz. 2003. Time to Quit Clownin' Around: The Subfamily Amphiprioninae - Reefkeeping - (English)
Søanemoner og klovnfisk - Saltvandswiki.dk - (Danish)
Kenneth Wingerter. 2012. Aquarium Fish: An Overview of Clownfish of the Saddleback Complex - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Joyce D. Wilkerson. 2013. Book Excerpt: Clownfishes: A Guide to Their Captive Care, Breeding, and Natural History - Tropical Fish Hobbyist - (English)
Scott W. Michael. 2008. Damselfishes & Anemonefishes (Reef Fishes) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
James W. Fatherree. 2011. Aquarium Fish: Damselfishes and Chromises: the Good and the Bad - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Bob Fenner. The Damsel and Anemonefishes, Family Pomacentridae - Wet Web Media - (English)