Blackback Anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus Bleeker 1852


Other Names: Black Anemonefish, Black Anemone-fish, Black-backed Anemonefish, Dusky Anemone-fish, Red-and-black Anemonefish

A Blackback Anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

Summary:

A blackish anemonefish with a yellowish to reddish snout, belly, dorsal and caudal fins, black pelvic fins and a mostly black anal fin. Most individuals have a white bar with a thin dark border on each side of the head that is connected over the top. Small juveniles are red with one or two additional white bars at mid-body and base of the tail.

Usually lives in association with the anemone host Entacmaea quadricolor, although may be found with Heteractis crispa and rarely with Heteractis  magnifica.


Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Amphiprion melanopus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Nov 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/1274

Blackback Anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus Bleeker 1852

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from Cape Leveque to the Bonaparte Archipelago, WA, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, to at least Broughton Island, New South Wales. Found elsewhere in the tropical, west-central Pacific.

Size

Max length 12 cm

Colour

Adults have blackish sides, and the snout, belly, dorsal and caudal fins are yellowish to reddish; pelvic fins black, anal fin mostly black. Most individuals have a white bar with a thin dark border on each side of the head that is connected over the top.

Small juveniles are red with one or two additional white bars at mid-body and base of the tail.

Biology

Anemone fishes have small home ranges and live "family" groups. Males and females form strong pair bonds, and the male chooses a nesting site on bare rock close to his anemone host. He clears the site of any algae and debris, often aided by the female. She lays her eggs onto this surface.

Fisheries

A popular aquarium fish that has been bred in captivity.

Conservation


Similar Species

Although similar to Amphiprion mccullochi in having a white bar on each side of the head, A. mccullochi is dark brown and the white bar is not connected over the top of the head.

Species Citation

Amphiprion melanopus Bleeker, P. 1852, Natuurwetensch. Tijdschr. Nederland. Indië 3: 561. Type locality: Ambon, Indonesia.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2017

Blackback Anemonefish, Amphiprion melanopus Bleeker 1852

References


Allen, G.R. 1972. Anemonefishes, their Classification and Biology. Neptune CityNew Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 288 pp., 140 figs.

Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Melle, Germany : Mergus Verlag 271 pp.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G. R. 2001. Family Pomacentridae. pp. 3381-4218, in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Arvedlund, M., McCormick, M. I., Fautin, D. G. & Bildsoe, M. 1999. Host recognition and possible imprinting in the anemonefish Amphiprion melanopus (Pisces: Pomacentridae). Marine Ecology Progress Series 188: 207–218. 

Atherton, J.A. & McCormick, M. I. 2017. Kin recognition in embryonic damselfishes. Oikos 126: 1062–1069. doi:10.1111/oik.03597 247-270


Bleeker, P. 1852. Nieuwe bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Amboina. Natuurwetenschappelijk Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 3: 545-568.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Whitley, G.P. 1933. Studies in Ichthyology No. 7. Records of the Australian Museum 19(1): 60-112 figs 1-4 pls 11-15(as Amphiprion verweyi)

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37372024

Biology:Lives with anemones

Depth:to 10 m

Fishing:Popular aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max weight:12 cm

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map