Amphiprion akallopisos

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Amphiprion akallopisos
Sea anemone mad 1.JPG
Amphriprion akallopisos with other unidentified fish in the sea anemone Stichodactyla mertensii in Madagascar.
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Labroidei
Family: Pomacentridae
Genus: Amphiprion
Species: A. akallopisos
Binomial name
Amphiprion akallopisos
(Bleeker, 1853)

The skunk clownfish or nosestripe anemonefish, Amphiprion akallopisos, is an anemonefish (also called clownfish) that lives in association with sea anemones. A. akallopisos, like A. percula, is nearly always associated with Heteractis magnifica and Stichodactyla gigantea[1], and is found in the Indo-Pacific. It resides in shallow inshore reefs as deep as 15 m with a moderate to strong current. The skunk clownfish can also be kept in captivity by aquarists.


A skunk anemonefish and a porcelain crab in their anemone home from East Timor.

The skunk clownfish is identified by a light orange color, with a single, narrow, white stripe running from the mouth to the caudal peduncle, and can grow as large as 11 cm in length.[2]

Like other anemonefish, the skunk clownfish is a protandrous hemaphrodite, and maintains a hierarchy within the host anemone that consists of a mating pair, of which the female is the largest, and non-mating males which get progressively smaller in size.

Nosestripe clownfish hiding in a Stichodactyla mertensii.

Territorial behaviors[edit]

The skunk clownfish, and other clownfish, use sound production to defend their territory. This behavior is most common with damselfishes that produce a wide variety of sounds,[1][2] a behavior shared with at least 10 species of anemonefish.[3][4] Sounds resembling pops and chirps are most commonly heard when interacting with invading fish of the same species or different species.[5][6] Studies have shown that it is the female that defends the anemone using sound production, as well as a physical charge when other fishes attempt to enter. A. akallopisos exhibit three different types of sounds, pops, short chirps, and long chirps, used depending on the type and duration of the encounter, which can also vary by locality.[7]


  1. ^ Myberg Jr, A. A. 1972. Ethology of the bicolour damselfish Eupomacentrus partitus (Pisces: Pomacentridae): a comparative analysis of laboratory and field behavior." Animal Behavior (Monographs in Behavior and Ecology). Vol. 5:197-283.
  2. ^ Mann, D. A.; Lobel, P. S. 1998. "Acoustic behavior of the damselfish Dascyllus albisella: behavioral and geographic variation." Environmental Biology of Fishes. Vol. 51:421-428.
  3. ^ Takemura, A. 1983. Acoustic behavior of the clownfishes (Amphiprion spp.) Bulletin of the Faculty of Fishes Nagasaki University. Vol. 54:21-27.
  4. ^ Chen, K. C.; Mok, H. K. 1988. "Sound production in the anemonefishes, Amphiprion clarkii and A. frenatus (Pomacentridae) in captivity. Fpn. F. Ichthyol. Vol. 35:90-97.
  5. ^ Luh, H. K.; Mok, H. K. 1986. "Sound production in the domino damselfish, Dascyllus trimaculatus (Pomacentridae) under laboratory conditions." Fpn. F. Ichthyol. Vol. 33:70-74.
  6. ^ Myberg Jr, A. A.; Mohler, M.; Catala, J. 1986. "Sound production by males of a coral reef fish (Pomacentrus paritus): its significance to females." Animal Behavior. Vol. 34:913-923.
  7. ^ Parmentier, E.; Lagardère, J. P.; Vandewalle, P.; Fine, M. L. 2005. "Geographical variation in sound production in the anemonefish Amphiprion akallopisos." Proceedings of the Royal Society of Biology. Vol. 272:1697-1703.

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