Saddleback Clownfish, Amphiprion polymnus

Image Caption: Amphiprion polymnus at Tasik Ria House reef, North Sulawesi, Indonesia. Credit: Jens Peterson/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 3.0)

Saddleback clownfish are found in harbors and lagoons with a soft or sandy bottom, around reefs at depths from 6 – 90 feet. This fish is native to the Western Pacific, around China, Viet Nam, Gulf of Thailand, Indonesia, Philippines, northern Australia, New Guinea, New Britain, and the Solomon Islands.

The body of the saddleback clownfish ranges in color from a dark brown to yellow-orange. A white stripe is located behind the eyes and another stripe saddles the body midway. A third white stripe is located just in front of the tail fin. The dorsal fin has 10 – 11 spines with 16 – 18 soft rays, and the anal fin has 2 spines and 12 – 14 soft rays. Adult length of the saddleback clownfish can reach 4 – 5 inches inches.

The diet of this species consists mainly of algae, plants, and small crustaceans.

The saddleback clownfish will pair during breeding. Eggs a laid, externally fertilized, and adhere to bottom structures. The male will guard the nest and aerate the egg cluster. This species is asexual; a larger dominant fish will become the female. If the female leaves or dies, one of the males will become the female.

The saddleback clownfish is a popular aquarium fish and should be kept using a 30 gallon or larger tank. This species is very territorial and aggressive, mostly toward other clownfish, so it is wise not to mix the saddleback with other species of clownfish unless it is in a very large tank of 200 gallons or more.

Feeding of a saddleback clownfish while in captivity should be in small amounts of marine flake food and occasionally small crustaceans, two to three times per day.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Pomacentridae