Skunk Clownfish, Amphiprion akallopisos

Image Credit: Nick Hobgood/Wikipedie (CC BY-SA 3.0)

The skunk clownfish, also named nosestripe anemonefish, is found in shallow inshore reefs where there is a moderate to strong current flow, with a depth range of up to 50 feet. It is generally found in the Indo-Pacific, East Africa, Comoro Islands, Seychelles, Andaman Sea, Sumatra, and in the Java Sea, but has not been observed in Maldives or Sri Lanka.

The skunk clown fish is light orange with a narrow white stripe running the length of the body from the snout to the tail along the back. It has 8 – 9 dorsal spines with 17 – 20 soft rays, and 2 anal spines with 12 – 14 soft rays. The average length of this species is between 4 – 5 inches. The female of this species is slightly larger than the male.

This species of clownfish will release sounds to defend its territory. Three types of sounds will be used by the skunk clownfish: pops, short chirps, and long chirps are used by the female defending her territory. The type of sound used depends on the length of the encounter with the invading fish. The female will also charge at the invading fish while releasing the sound.

The diet of the skunk clownfish consists of plankton, algae, weeds, plants, and small invertebrates.

The skunk clownfish will group together with a large female, a smaller non mating male and several juveniles. The female has both sex organs for laying and fertilizing the eggs, which will adhere to structures on the sea floor; the male will guard the nest. If the female becomes absent from the group, the male will change sex into the female role of reproducing, and the largest of the juveniles will become the male and guard the nest.

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Suborder: Labroidea

Family: Pomacentridae