Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
Order: Perciformes (Perch-likes)
Family: Pomacentridae (Damselfishes)

Genus/species: Premnas biaculeatus

Female below

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: Juveniles orange-colored; color deepens with age. Male smaller, bright red with three brilliant white bars, sometimes barely visible. Female becomes maroon or almost black with subdued bars. Note the conspicuous spine on cheek below the eye.

 Length to 17 cm (6.75 inches). 

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: Indo-West Pacific: Indo-Australian Archipelago including India, Burma, Thailand, Malaysia, Indonesia,Philippines, New Guinea New Britain, Solomon Islands, Vanuatu, and northern Queensland, Australia.  Premnas biaculeatus is found in lagoons and seaward reefs, 1–16 m (3.25-52.5 ft) exclusively with the sea anemone Entacmaea quadricolor. They are usually in pairs.

DIET IN THE WILD: Zooplankton and algae.

REPRODUCTION: Oviparous. Males and females guard and aerate the eggs. Protandrous hermaphrodite, In the case of the death of the female, the second largest changes from male to female. Size difference is maintained in order to avoid subordinates becoming a threat to the highest ranking male.; female is to about 2–3 times the size of her male partner.

LIFESPAN: 6 to 10 years in the wild.



REMARKS: P. biaculeatus has a mutualist relationship with Entacmaea quadricolor. The anemone benefits from having spinecheek anemonefish protect them from butterflyfishes, which feed on their tentacles. P. biaculeatus also clean away debris and parasites from the anemone. Spinecheek anemonefish are protected from most fish by the venomous anemones tentacles which do not injure the anemone fish.


California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Philippine Coral Reef 2016




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