True Percula Clownfish





True Percula Clownfish
(Technically referred to as-The Amphiprion Percula)


The True Percula Clownfish is a very interesting species, This species has many various qualities varying from the color to the reproductive process and finally to the amazing fact that this fish can actually change it’s sex. These and many other intriguing facts about the particular species is what makes the True Percula Clownfish/or the (technical name) Amphiprion Percula, such an interesting species to study. Well I think so at least and I hope you will too!

To begin with the Percula Clownfish is bright orange with three (3) complete vertical white bars on the body. The first is located right behind the eye, the second, is placed at the mid-body and goes forward. The third and final bar is at the base of the caudal fin posterior to the dorsal fin. These bars are usually outlined in (thick) black, which varies in width from fish to fish. A Percula typically has 10 dorsal spins. This fish (The Percula Clownfish) can usually be confused with an Ocellaris. There are many differences though, such as, Ocellaris do not have a thick black margin around the white bars. Also, the spinous portion of the dorsal fin on a Percula is shorter than an Ocellaris, they have about 11 dorsal spines instead of 10. The two species also do not have overlapping ranges. There are also some physical differences between the females and the males, like: the female is larger, more robust and the male is just overall smaller.

The family tree of a True Percula Clownfish can go something like this:
· Identification-Amphiprion percula(Lacepede,1802)
· Geographic origin-Indo-Pacific
· Subphylum Gnathostomato-jawed vertebrates
· Class Osteichthyes-bony fish
· Family Pomacentridae-damselfishes
Subfamily Amphiprioninae-anemonefishes, or clownfishes
(www.uoguelph.ca/laurema/percula.htm)

The diet of a True Percula Clownfish is actually quite simple compared to other species. In nature they feed primarily on zooplankton (tiny animals, mainly crustaceans), supplemented with algae. This diet can easily be simulated, at least nutritionally, while in captivity. Using flake-type commercial fish food containing vegetable ingredients can greatly balance their diets. This diet should also be supplemented with live foods such as brine shrimp, Daphnia, mosquito larvae and Tubifex worms whenever possible. Several small feeding per day are better than a single one. They don’t seem like too much of picky eaters to me!

Now, The Spawning, Courtship, and Incubation of this species is a rather interesting process if you ask me, and I believe when we are finished you will start to be believe how amazing these fish in general really are. Within the tropics spawning occurs throughout most of the year, although there may be seasonal peaks of activity. In subtropical or warm temperate seas (southern Japan) reproductive activity is generally restricted to spring and summer when the water temp. is the highest. Courtship in this species is usually stereotyped and ritualized. Several days prior to spawning there is an increased social interaction, this is expressed ways like: chasing, fin-erection, and nest preparation. Some of the male “flirting” rituals include “signal jumping” which consists of him swimming rapidly up and down, as thought he is on a roller coaster. He can also become bold and aggressive, chasing and nipping his mate, also he will display fully extended dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins while remaining beside or in front of her, never behind. During the nuptial period he will also select a nest site that will usually be on a bare rock. He will initially spend a good amount of time clearing algae and debris from the site with his mouth and his mate eventually joins him. What is interesting to me is the fact that pair bonding is a very strong characteristic of Perculas. Once they have chosen a mate they will usually stay with them from then on. Spawning usually happens in the morning hours and can take anywhere from 30 min to two hours. The female swims around in a zigzag (deliberately) while the male follows close behind her and fertilizes her eggs as they are laid. The number of eggs can range from 100 to over 1000 depending on the size of the fish. Hatching generally occurs during the evening around the sixth or seventh day after the eggs are laid. My opinion on this ritual(s) is that it is very intricate and complicated, fragile and