Amphiprion percula

Super Group: 
Lacepède 1802
Lutjanus percula (Lacepède 1802)
Actinicola percula (Lacepède 1802)
Amphiprion tunicatus (Cuvier 1830)


Diagnosis_Genus: Amphiprion Bloch & Schneider. i.e. utrinque serratus. Operculorum folia (laminae) anteriora et posteriora serrata.
Diagnosis_Species: Lutjan perchot (Lutjanus percula) Lacepède. The Perchot lives near the shores of the New England, and particularly in the Praslin port where Commerson anchored with our famous Bougainville, in July 1768. This fish, which can barely the length of a decimeter, and that can not be sought for the table because of its too small, lives among the rocks, where it hides among the corals. Its beautiful orange and blue colors are not only each other out in a very graceful manner with their nuances and their distribution, but are identified by the black border of three horizontal stripes, and a black border that is seen to the end of each fin. The iris shining brilliance of a small ruby. The iris shines as a small ruby. The head is a little thick; the rounded snout, the upper jaw is extensible and less advanced than the lower; the tongue is short, hard and cartilaginous; the back is high and carrened. 4 rays at the gill membrane, 14 rays at each pectoral fin, 15 rays at the tail.

This is one of the smallest clownfishes, with a maximum length of 11 cm in the females and 8 cm in the males. Very much like the Amphiprion ocellaris, it distinguishes due to the dorsal fin which has, as an average, one spiny ray less, the black drawings wider and always present on the fins and the height of the body, which, proportionally, is lower. The dorsal fin has 9-10 spiny rays plus 14-17 soft, the anal 2 spiny rays and 11-13 soft, whilst the pectoral ones, ample and roundish, count of 15-17 unarmed rays. The ventral fins are more or less rounded, like the caudal, which tends to be truncated in the bigger specimens. On the background colour, yellow-orange, stand out three wide white vertical bands intended to break the contour of the fish. They go from side to side like a saddle, emphasized by a black border. The first stands between the eye and the operculum, the second, wider and protruding forward with a loop, in the mid of the body and the third at level of the caudal peduncle. The fins, having the same colour as the body and often translucent on the border, have almost always showy black contours.

Body_adult_female_length_max: 11 cm
Body_adult_male_length_max: 8 cm
Body_adult_male_standard_length: 3.6 cm (flmnh)
Body_adult_female_standard_length: 4.6 cm (flmnh)
Body_egg_length: 3-4 mm (flmnh)
Body_egg_length: 2.0-2.3 mm (Dhaneesh et al., 2012)
Body_egg_wide: 1.0-1.2 mm (Dhaneesh et al., 2012)
Body_larvae_new hatched_length: 3.2-3.6 mm (Dhaneesh et al., 2012)
Sequence_tRNA: KJ174497 (Li et al. 2015)
Sequence_12sRNA: AF285924 (Tang 2001, Jang-Liaw et al. 2002)
Sequence_16sRNA: AF285946 (Tang 2001)


The name of the genus “amphiprion” comes from the Greek “amphi” = “on both sides” and “priön” = saw, seen that on both sided of the head the preoperculum and the suboperculum are indented like a saw. The name of the species, “percula”, is the Latin diminutive of “perca”, generic term used by the old Romans for indicating a fish, as well as, also, “perke” in Greek. In short it tells us simply that it is a little fish like its analogue Nemo, the likeable character of a famous cartoon.

Type species

The type species of the genus Amphiprion is Lutjanus ephippium (Bloch 1790) (Fishwisepro)

Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type locality: Port Praslin, New Britain Island, Bismarck Archipelago.


Amphiprion percula lives in Western Pacific: Queensland and Melanesia including northern Great Barrier Reef, northern New Guinea, New Britain, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu (Fishbase).
Substrate: water
Salinity: marine
Temperature: 25-28°C
Depth: 1-15 m (Fishbase)
Depth_eggs: demersal (Fishbase)
Depth_larvae: pelagic
Habitat: coastal
Oxygen_level: oxic

Life cycle

The life span of Amphiprion percula is about ten years. The Nancy's Museum-Aquarium holds the record for the oldest clown fish ever kept in captivity 21 years.
Amphiprion percula is a non migratory species (Fishbase).
A. percula are able to reach sexual maturity within 2 years (advancedaquarist)
The number of eggs released may vary from 100 to over 1,000, dependent upon the size and age of the female (flmnh).
Fecondity_number_of_eggs_per_adult: 100-1000 eggs (flmnh).
Longevity: more than 3 years
Reproduction_mode: sexual_hermaphrodite_protandrous (oviparous)
Generation_time: 1 to 3 years
Spawning_method: external fertilization in the water column

Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


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Amyloodinium ocellatum Aquarium Zoological Society of London

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