Amphiprion percula feeds mainly on zooplankton, such as copepods and larval tunicates. Possibly, it consumes algae from the surrounding coral reef or even leftover food portions from its host anemone. The former strategy is commonly used by A. perideraion (Fautin and Allen, 1992). Frequently, Amphiprion percula will carry large pieces of food to its host anemone, presumably to store it for later use. The anemone, however, devours the accessible food item in most cases (Grant, 1999).
Optimal juvenile growth rate was discovered at a ration of approximately 6% body weight per day (Johnston et al., 2000). Juveniles are under considerable pressure from the hierarchical structure. The individual is harassed and chased by bigger males of the “family group,” which results in stunted growth. Consequently, the smaller fish has a more restricted feeding area, and more energy must be placed on evasion. Only when a larger male is removed (e.g. death) will the smaller juvenile experience an acceleration in growth rate. It is believed that less time being harassed translates into more time spent on feeding (Fautin and Allen, 1992).
Due to the increased aquarium trade for Amphiprion percula (See Economic Importance for Humans) and a continued depletion of coral reef habitats, there have been tremendous developments in rearing of marine fishes using aquaculturing techniques. One of the most challenging obstacles is providing an economical, yet effective, feed in an artificial environment. Hoff (1996) found that Amphiprion percula larvae and juveniles could be successfully reared on highly integrated and diverse feeds, such as rotifers, small particulate dry feed, Artemia, and krill meal. Unfortunately, this proved too expensive to be practical, and a regime solely based on artificial feed decreased survival and growth rates in young fishes. If, however, juveniles were weaned from live Artemia 15 to 20 days after hatching and fed a fish meal/casein-based substitute, survival and growth rates showed no difference from juveniles fed entirely on live feed (Gordon et al., 2000). (Fautin and Allen, 1992; Gordon et al., 1998; Grant, 1999; Hoff, 1996; Johnston et al., 2000)
Animal Foods: Aquatic Crustaceans; Other Marine Invertebrates; Zooplankton
Plant Foods: Algae
Foraging Behavior: Stores or caches food
- Fautin, D., G. Allen. 1992. Field Guide to Anemonefishes and their Host Sea Anemones. Perth: Western Australian Museum.
- Gordon, A., H. Kaiser, P. Britz, T. Hecht. 1998. Effect of feed type and age-at-weening on growth and survival of clownfish *Amphiprion percula* (Pomacentridae). Aquarium Sciences and Conservation, 2: 215-226.
- Grant, E. 1999. Grant's Guide to Fishes. Scarborough: E.M. Grant Pty Ltd..
- Hoff, F. 1996. Conditioning, Spawning and Rearing of Fish with Emphasis on Marine Clownfish. Dade City: Aquaculture Consultants, Inc..
- Johnston, G., T. Hetcht, L. Oellermann, H. Kaiser. 2000. Effect of feeding frequency and ration on the growth of juvenile clownfish (*Amphiprion percula*). 10th Southern African Marine Science Symposium (SAMSS 2002): Land, Sea and People in the New Millennium--Abstracts.