Three-band anemonefish

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Three-band anemonefish
Scientific classification Red Pencil Icon.png
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Family: Pomacentridae
Genus: Amphiprion
Species:
A. tricinctus
Binomial name
Amphiprion tricinctus
Schultz & Welander, 1953 [2]

The three-band anemonefish (Amphiprion tricinctus) is a species of anemonefish endemic to the Marshall Islands in the western part of the Pacific Ocean. Like all anemonefishes, it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of its host. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict size-based dominance hierarchy; the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male nonbreeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. [3] They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male changes to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest nonbreeder becoming the breeding male. [4] The fish's natural diet includes zooplankton. [4]

Contents

Description

The body of A. tricinctus is yellow-orange at the snout, belly, and pelvic and anal fins, tending to dark brown or black at the tail. As the common name suggests, as an adult it has three white bands or bars. They can grow to be about 13 cm (5.1 in) long [4]

Color variations

As A. tricinctus is endemic to the Marshall Islands, no geographic variation is seen, bute variations to the proportions of orange and black occur, from predominately orange through to predominantly black and the occasional aberrant coloration. [5] Fish living with the host anemone Stichodactyla mertensii , Mertens' carpet sea anemone, are frequently black except for the snout and bars. [4]

Similar species

Two other species have three body bars and a dark tail, A. chrysogaster and A. fuscocaudatus, [4] but the species are geographically separated. Three other species of anemonefish are found in the Marshall Islands, A. chrysopterus, A. melanopus, and A. perideraion. [6] These are easily distinguished from A. tricinctus as A. chrysopterus has two body bars and a whitish caudal fin, A. melanopus only has a head bar, and A. perideraion has a distinctive white stripe on the dorsal ridge. [4] Genetic analysis has shown that A. tricinctus is closely related to A. clarkii and this clade is significantly different from the other species traditionally considered part of the A. clarkii complex. [7] [8]

Distribution and habitat

A. tricinctus is endemic to the Marshall Islands in the western part of the Pacific Ocean [4] and is found in lagoons and pinnacle and seaward reefs. Whilst it is most commonly found at depths of 3 to 40 m (9.8 to 131.2 ft), it is occasionally found hosted by solitary specimens of Entacmaea quadricolor on seaward reef slopes in excess of 40 m (130 ft) deep. [5]

Host anemones

The relationship between anemonefish and their host sea anemones is not random and instead is highly nested in structure. [9] A. tricinctus is highly generalised, being hosted by eight of the 9 host anemones found in the Marshall Islands. A. tricinctus is generally said to be associated with these species of anemone: [4] [7]

Many locations in the Marshall Islands have not been scientifically surveyed, [10] and A. tricinctus has been reported to be hosted by these species of anemone: [6]

Conservation status

Anemonefish and their host anemones are found on coral reefs and face similar environmental issues. Like corals, anemone's contain intracellular endosymbionts, zooxanthellae, and can suffer from bleaching due to triggers such as increased water temperature or acidification. Characteristics known to elevate the risk of extinction are small geographic range, small local population, and extreme habitat specialisation. [11] [12] A. tricinctus is an endemic species, confined to the Marshall Islands, and this species' ability to use a variety of anemone hosts is thought to reduce the risk of extinction associated with specialisation. [10]

In the aquarium

Specimens of A. tricinctus are occasionally for sale and the species has been bred in captivity. [13]

Notes

  1. The Marshall Islands are significantly outside the previously recorded range for M. doreensis, which is not otherwise reported east of New Guinea. [4]

Related Research Articles

Amphiprioninae subfamily of fishes

Clownfish or anemonefish are fishes from the subfamily Amphiprioninae in the family Pomacentridae. Thirty species are recognized: one in the genus Premnas, while the remaining are in the genus Amphiprion. In the wild, they all form symbiotic mutualisms with sea anemones. Depending on species, anemonefish are overall yellow, orange, or a reddish or blackish color, and many show white bars or patches. The largest can reach a length of 17 cm (6.7 in), while the smallest barely achieve 7–8 cm (2.8–3.1 in).

Orange clownfish species of fish

The orange clownfish also known as percula clownfish and clown anemonefish, is widely known as a popular aquarium fish. Like other clownfishes, it often lives in association with sea anemones. A. percula is associated specifically with Heteractis magnifica and Stichodactyla gigantea, and as larvae use chemical cues released from the anemones to identify and locate the appropriate host species to use them for shelter and protection. This causes preferential selection when finding their anemone host species. Although popular, maintaining this species in captivity is rather complex. The Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority regulates the number of collection permits issued to aquarium fish dealers who seek this, and other tropical fish within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park. The symbiosis between anemonefish and anemones depends on the presence of the fish drawing other fish to the anemone, where they are stung by its venomous tentacles. The anemone helps the fish by giving it protection from predators, which include brittle stars, wrasses, and other damselfish, and the fish helps the anemone by feeding it, increasing oxygenation, and removing waste material from the host. Various hypotheses exist about the fish's ability to live within the anemone without being harmed. One study carried out at Marineland of the Pacific by Dr. Demorest Davenport and Dr. Kenneth Noris in 1958 revealed that the mucus secreted by the anemone fish prevented the anemone from discharging its lethal stinging nematocysts. A second hypothesis is that A. percula has acquired immunity towards the sea anemone's toxins, and a combination of the two has been shown to be the case. The fish feed on algae, zooplankton, worms, and small crustaceans.

Clarks anemonefish species of fish

Amphiprion clarkii, known commonly as Clark's anemonefish and yellowtail clownfish, is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes.

<i>Heteractis magnifica</i> Heteractis magnifica is a sea anemone of the family Stichodactylidae.

Heteractis magnifica, also known by the common names magnificent sea anemone or Ritteri anemone, is a species of sea anemone belonging to the Stichodactylidae family native to the Indo-Pacific area.

Cinnamon clownfish species of fish

Amphiprion melanopus, also known as the cinnamon clownfish, fire clownfish, red and black anemonefish, black-backed anemonefish or dusky anemonefish is a widely distributed anemonefish chiefly found in the western and southern parts of the Pacific Ocean.. The species scientific name 'melanopus' is Greek, meaning black feet in reference to the black pelvic fins. Like all anemonefishes it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host anemone. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict sized based dominance hierarchy: the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male non-breeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male will change to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest non-breeder becomes the breeding male.

Sebae anemone species of cnidarian

The sebae anemone, also known as leathery sea anemone, long tentacle anemone, or purple tip anemone, is a species of sea anemone belonging to the family Stichodactylidae and native to the Indo-Pacific area.

Australian clownfish species of fish

Amphiprion rubrocinctus, also known as the Australian clownfish or red anemonefish, is a species of anemonefish that is endemic to north west Australia. Like all anemonefishes it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host anemone. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict sized based dominance hierarchy: the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male non-breeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male will change to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest non-breeder becomes the breeding male. The fish's natural diet includes zooplankton.

Orange-fin anemonefish species of fish

The orange-fin anemonefish is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes, found in the Western Pacific north of the Great Barrier Reef from the surface to 20 m, to include the Pacific Ocean between Queensland, Australia, and New Guinea to the Marshall and Tuamotus Islands. It can grow to 17 cm in length.

Allards clownfish species of fish

Allard's clownfish or Allard's anemonefish is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes, from the western Indian Ocean off the coast of East Africa and the Mascarenes.

Saddleback clownfish species of fish

Amphiprion polymnus, also known as the saddleback clownfish or yellowfin anemonefish, is a black and white species of anemonefish with a distinctive saddle. Like all anemonefishes it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host anemone. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict sized based dominance hierarchy: the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male non-breeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male will change to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest non-breeder becomes the breeding male.

<i>Amphiprion akindynos</i> species of fish

Amphiprion akindynos, the Barrier Reef anemonefish, is a species of anemonefish that is principally found in the Great Barrier Reef of Australia, but also in nearby locations in the Western Pacific. The species name 'akindynos' is Greek, meaning 'safe' or 'without danger' in reference to the safety afforded amongst the tentacles of its host anemone. Like all anemonefishes it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host anemone. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict size-based dominance hierarchy: the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male non-breeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male will change to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest non-breeder becomes the breeding male. The fish's natural diet includes zooplankton.

Pink skunk clownfish species of anemonefish

Amphiprion perideraion also known as the pink skunk clownfish or pink anemonefish, is a species of anemonefish from the skunk complex that is widespread from northern Australia through the Malay Archipelago and Melanesia. Like all anemonefishes, it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict size-based dominance hierarchy; the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male nonbreeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male changes to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest nonbreeder becoming the breeding male.

<i>Amphiprion akallopisos</i> species of Actinopterygii

The nosestripe clownfish or nosestripe anemonefish, skunk clownfish, Amphiprion akallopisos, is an anemonefish that lives in association with sea anemones. A. akallopisos is found in the Indian Ocean. 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.

<i>Stichodactyla mertensii</i> species of cnidarian

Stichodactyla mertensii, commonly known as Mertens' carpet sea anemone, is a species of sea anemones in the family Stichodactylidae. It is regarded as the largest sea anemone with a diameter of over 1 m (3.3 ft), the next largest being Heteractis magnifica, which has longer tentacles. This species has an oral disc that can be described as more ovoid than circular that contours to the surrounding substrate and is attached to the substrate by adhesive verrucae, which are wart-like projections. Its blunt or pointed tentacles are uniformly shaped, and are only about 1–2 centimetres (0.39–0.79 in) long. It contains obligate symbiotic zooxanthellae, and is a host to around half the species of anemonefish and one damselfish, Dascyllus trimaculatus.

<i>Heteractis aurora</i> species of cnidarian

Heteractis aurora is a species of sea anemone in the family Stichodactylidae.

<i>Amphiprion latezonatus</i> species of fish

Amphiprion latezonatus, also known as the wide-band anemonefish, is a species of anemonefish found in subtropical waters off the east coast of Australia. Like all anemonefishes, it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of its host. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict size-based dominance hierarchy; the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male nonbreeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male changes to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest nonbreeder becoming the breeding male.

<i>Amphiprion chagosensis</i> species of fish

Amphiprion chagosensis, the Chagos anemonefish, is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes. It is named for the Chagos Archipelago in the Indian Ocean and it is endemic to the archipelago. The original specimens were collected at Diego Garcia Atoll, Chagos Archipelago.

<i>Amphiprion chrysogaster</i> species of Actinopterygii

Amphiprion chrysogaster, the Mauritian anemonefish, is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes. It is endemic to Mauritius and probably Réunion.

<i>Amphiprion barberi</i> species of fish

Amphiprion barberi, is a species of anemonefish that is found in the western Pacific Ocean. It was previously considered a geographic color variation of other anemonefish, initially Amphiprion rubrocinctus from 1972 and then Amphiprion melanopus from 1980 however further study and DNA sequencing resulted in A. barberi being described as a new species in 2008. Like all anemonefishes it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host anemone. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict sized based dominance hierarchy: the female is largest, the breeding male is second largest, and the male non-breeders get progressively smaller as the hierarchy descends. They exhibit protandry, meaning the breeding male will change to female if the sole breeding female dies, with the largest non-breeder becomes the breeding male. The fish's natural diet includes zooplankton.

<i>Amphiprion leucokranos</i> species of fish

Amphiprion leucokranos is a naturally occurring hybrid anemonefish found in the western central Pacific Ocean. Like all anemonefishes it forms a symbiotic mutualism with sea anemones and is unaffected by the stinging tentacles of the host anemone. It is a sequential hermaphrodite with a strict dominance hierarchy, features which are critical to the direction of gene flow.

References

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  2. Schultz, L. P. (1953). "Review of the Indo-Pacific anemone fishes, genus Amphiprion, with descriptions of two new species". Proc. U. S. Natl. Mus. 103 (núm. 3323) (3323): 187–201, Pls. 9–10. doi:10.5479/si.00963801.103-3323.187.
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