The Saddleback Clownfish, also known as the Amphiprion polymnus, is a rare deep ocean species that was first identified in 1990. It’s only been found at the bottom of oil wells and vent fields, where they live off plankton which drifts down from above. The fish can grow up to 12 inches long (30 cm) with an orange-brown base coloration with dark brown spots and bands.
They are species of clownfish that can be found in the western Pacific Ocean. These fish are also sometimes called White-Spotted Clownfish, and they have distinctive black stripes on their body: one down the center and another from head to tail. Their name comes from its saddle-like pattern on its back.
The Saddleback Clownfish is a nocturnal fish, meaning that it mostly comes out at night to forage and hunt food. They are omnivores so they eat both plant and animal-based foods, but their diet predominantly consists of sea urchins and sponges. The Saddleback Clownfish will often use its strong claws to tear open the sponges and sea urchins so that they can eat the inside.
It is an interesting fact about these clownfish that their egg cases are laid on a males’ tail during spawning season, then he will fertilize them with his sperm before releasing them into the water for incubation. The Saddleback Clownfish is another species of fish that reproduces through external fertilization.
The fish has not been evaluated by the IUCN Red List yet, but it may be listed as near threatened due to its similarity in appearance with other clownfish species and because it lives in a region where fishing pressure is high.
Origin of the Saddleback Clownfish
The saddled clownfish was first described in 1973 by Dr. John Stanley, who discovered it while diving near Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. The fish is found at depths of 15 to 30 feet (about five meters) on steep slopes and caves among rocks or coral rubble, where they are attached with a flexible substance that has been likened to a living suction cup.
The saddled clownfish is not found in the wild outside of the Indian Ocean, but it was brought into captivity and bred by John Stanley for his research work with reef fish reproduction at Stanford University’s Hopkins Marine Station on Monterey Bay, near San Luis Obispo, California.
The saddled clownfish has a white body with two rows of black dots on the sides and one row on each cheek. The fins are yellowish-orange to red-orange; the tail is long, ending in a pointy tip. Males have larger noses than females, and males also have blue lines at their gill covers.
The Saddleback Clownfish is a species of clownfish found throughout the Indo-Pacific. Males feature bright yellow and orange stripes while females are brownish overall with lighter patches in some areas. The fish’s longfin filaments extend over its head, upper back, and body to form what may be seen as a saddle shape from above.
Originally, the Saddleback Clownfish was not highly prized among aquarium hobbyists but has recently been bred successfully in captivity. The fish is a hardy species that can live with many other clownfish and invertebrates without territorial disputes.
Color and appearance
The Saddleback Clownfish is characterized by its bright colors and striped patterns, which are shades of red-orange on a white background. The fish has two black stripes that run vertically from the eye to the base of its tail fin. It also features a pair of vertical bands running behind its eyes, as well as large dark spots on its body.
Habitat and Behavior
The Saddleback Clownfish primarily inhabits coastal reefs and lagoons, where it feeds on algae. They are semi-aggressive territorial fish that will defend their territory from intruders of the same species. The females can lay up to 15 eggs in a spawning session, but typically only one or two hatchlings survive due to the aggressive males.
They can be anywhere from five to six inches in length.
The Saddleback Clownfish is a sequential hermaphrodite, meaning that at any stage of its life cycle, it can be male or female. It starts off as an egg and develops into the sex opposite to what it was when they were born with more aggressive males tending to develop into females later in their lives. They reach sexual maturity at age two.
In the Saddleback Clownfish’s natural habitat, they primarily live in coastal reefs and lagoons where they feed on algae to survive. They are semi-aggressive territorial fish that will defend their territory from intruders of the same species.
Are they peaceful or aggressive?
The Saddleback Clownfish is one of the most peaceful species. It’s not a territorial fish, and might even live in groups with other similar-looking fishes (i.e., black-and-white or orange clownfishes). This makes it difficult to tell individuals apart without DNA analysis. You may find them living among anemones, corals, and other fish species.
Although, saddleback Clownfish can become semi-aggressive while defending their territory, but if the two fishes know each other well, they may not fight.
Amphiprion polymnus care
What they eat
They eat plankton, algae, and other small organisms that they can find. They do not need to hunt for food like some fish would because their diet consists mostly of what is floating in the water around them.
Saddleback Clownfish can be kept in a tank with other types of clownfish. They are known to get along well with all species that they come into contact with.
They are one type of the many different varieties of clownfish, but it stands out because its coloration makes them easy to spot against its natural habitat.
Saddleback Clownfish are easy to care for, and they can be put in a tank with other types of fish that will not eat them because their diet consists mostly of plankton. They have been known to get along well with most species as long as the temperature does not exceed 78 degrees Fahrenheit (26 Celsius).
Clownfish require water that is around 72 degrees Fahrenheit. If the temperature of your aquarium drops below 73, you may have to suspend feeding and stop performing routine maintenance until your water has warmed up again.
If there are any major changes in your water chemistry such as a drop or increase in salinity, this can also result in a decrease in the temperature of your tank.
They can be housed with a group of one male and several females or with another territorial clownfish like an Ocellaris as long as there is plenty of hiding places in the tank such as caves or overhangs. If you have a male and female in the same tank, they will usually spawn on top of their favorite rock or inside a hole if there’s one available.
Saddleback Clownfish have a lifespan of about six to eight years. They are also known as the Saddle Bronzefish or Hawaiian Sailfin Tang and resemble the Tomato Clownfish.
Parasites and diseases
Saddleback Clownfish are susceptible to marine ich, but not as much so as other clownfish. They can also be afflicted by the common ick if they’re housed with a different type of fish that carries it.
They eat just about any meaty food you give them like worms, shrimp pellets, and frozen brine shrimp. They also need a good supply of live rock to stay healthy and will eat algae on the rocks as well.
Does it make good pets?
The Saddleback Clownfish is a territorial, aggressive type of clownfish that will likely not make an ideal pet. They are generally only recommended for experienced aquarists.
I don’t recommend them as pets because they’re very prone to aggression and defending their territory from other inhabitants in the aquarium. This means you need a large enough tank to keep them.