MEPS 156:175-181 (1997)  -  doi:10.3354/meps156175

Timing of spawning and fecundity of a tropical and subtropical anemonefish (Pomacentridae: Amphiprion) on a high latitude reef on the east coast of Australia

Darren L. Richardson*, Peter L. Harrison, Vicki J. Harriott

Centre for Coastal Management, Southern Cross University, PO Box 157, Lismore, New South Wales 2480, Australia
*Present address: WBM Oceanics, PO Box 203, Spring Hill, Queensland 4004, Australia. E-mail:

The timing of spawning and fecundity of the anemonefishes Amphiprion latezonatus Waite and A. akindynos Allen were monitored over a 1 yr period at Julian Rocks, a subtropical rocky reef located on the east coast of Australia. The tropical species A. akindynos had a shorter spawning season than the subtropical endemic species A. latezonatus, although peak spawning activity in both species occurred during the warmest time of the year. Despite having a shorter spawning season than tropical congeners, both species had the highest fecundity of anemonefishes studied to date. Both species displayed weak lunar spawning periodicity; A. akindynos had slightly more spawnings in the lunar quarters before and after the full moon than the quarters before and after the new moon, whereas A. latezonatus had significantly fewer spawnings in the lunar quarter before the full moon than during the other 3 lunar quarters. The spawning patterns of A. akindynos and A. latezonatus were more similar to A. clarkii in temperate Japan than to congeners in tropical regions, suggesting that environmental factors associated with high latitude environments may modify the reproductive biology of anemonefishes.


Lunar and seasonal spawning patterns · Anemonefish · Reproduction


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