Skip to main content

McCullochi clownfish

Amphiprion mccullochi

Description: McCullochi clownfish have a brownish-black body with a white, vertical bar on both sides of the face that extend slightly past the eyes. The snout and caudal fins are whitish in color. Juveniles are a slightly lighter color brown with three vertical, white bars.

Size: This species of clownfish can reach a maximum length of about 4.7 inches (12 cm).

Behavior: Amphiprion mccullochi are a more aggressive species of clownfish and are found singularly or in mated pairs. For a host anemone, they prefer Bubble-tip anemones but will also live among Sebae anemones. The rest of their lives are spent within a short distance of the anemone, keeping it groomed and keeping away parasites, debris and predators. Days are spent exploring or hiding in caves and crevices around the reef and are known to be extremely territorial over their host anemone which they will fight for.

Diet: They primarily feed on copepods and larval tunicates, as well as algae. They will also feed on undigested food from their host anemones.

Senses: Clownfish, although poor swimmers, excrete a special actinian mucus that protects them from the stinging tentacles of the host anemones.

Communication: Communication between these fish peak during spawning season and are shown by erecting their fin, chasing and preparing a nest. Males are known to get a little aggressive by chasing and biting at his mate. He will face his mate while stationary and completely extend his pelvic, dorsal and anal fins.

Reproduction: Like other species of clownfish, the McCullochi clownfish lays a patch of bright orange eggs at regular intervals, usually in close proximity to its host anemone. Both parents care for the developing embryos and can be seen carefully tending the eggs and fiercely protecting them from potential predators.

Habitat/range: McCullochi clownfish are endemic to Australia and are found in the lagoon or inshore waters of Lord Howe Island off New South Wales and Norfolk Island. They are one of the rarest clownfish due to their range being so limited.

Status: This species has not yet been evaluated by the IUCN Red List of Threatened Species.