News / Species Spotlight / Species Spotlight - Blue Stripe Clownfish (Amphiprion chrysopterus) (12/01/16)

Species Spotlight - Blue Stripe Clownfish (Amphiprion chrysopterus)

Species Spotlight - Blue Stripe Clownfish (Amphiprion chrysopterus)
There are around thirty species of clownfish out there, and each is interesting in its own special way, but, if we had to choose one which shone above the rest in terms of sheer aesthetic appeal, we might just have to go with Amphiprion chrysopterus.

The blue stripes that give this fish its common name really are quite eye-catching, though the intensity of this color tends to vary from specimen to specimen. Its actually a bit of an optical illusion, as there are no blue pigments present. Instead, its the result of the white stripe overlaying the dark base color of the bodya similar effect can sometimes be seen in certain designer strains of Ocellaris Clownfish with excessive white patterning. Another name for this species, the Orange-fin Clownfish, alludes to the bright orange hues of the finnage, though this varies a bit across its range.

This is also the largest of the clownfishes, with large females measuring in at nearly seven inches! In the wild, this fish can be found across the Central Pacific, from the Mariana Islands to the Marshall Islands and south into Fiji, New Guinea and French Polynesia (this being the only clownfish found in these remote South Pacific islands). It tends to favor habitats along seaward reefs, receiving fresh waters directly from the open ocean, which explains why it doesnt usually show up in areas like Indonesia (though a few specimens do make their way into the Philippines on occasion).

It has been known to host in nearly every species of anemone, which makes this one of the easiest species to create a symbiosis with in captivity. Interestingly, there are numerous populations in its vast range that have unique fin colors. For instance, those from Micronesia have a white tail, while those from New Guinea and the Solomon Islands have black pelvic and anal fins. The fish we typically get from Fiji are one of the most beautiful of the lot, having all the fins bright yellow.

In the home aquarium, this species makes for a fantastic addition to a reef tank, and, whenever possible, it is recommended to keep this fish (either singly or as a mated pair) with an anemone to host in. This is not required, of course, but half the fun of keeping a clownfish is observing how it playfully interacts within its slimy, stingy, tentacled host. Given the large size this species reaches, it will need a reasonably sized aquarium of 40 gallons or more. When fully mature, this amazing fish makes for a real centerpiece in any tank Nemos got nothin on Amphiprion chrysopterus.