Researchers have described a brand new kind of clownfish, which belongs in the skunk clown group.

Douglas Fenner, Joshua Drew, and Gerald Allen, described this new clownfish as Amphiprion pacificus in their report which was recently published in Aqua, the International Journal of Ichthyology.

Amphiprion pacificus is now being described by scientists who took a look at four specimens which were roughly 4 to 5 centimeters long, and were caught in the western Pacific Ocean, between Tonga and Wallis Island.

However, it should be noted that this “new” fish was also photographed by divers on the coral reefs in Samao and Fiji.

This new species which has been described is almost identical to Amphiprion akallopisos, which makes its home in the Indian Ocean.

Both species of fish have a slightly pinkish brown body and a white stripe along their backs.

Despite the fact that they are almost identical in appearance, genetic testing has suggeste that Amphiprion pacificus is more closely related to Amphiprion sandaracinos, an anemonefish which lives in the Western Australia and indo-Malayan region of the world.

The authors were quoted as saying: “Aside from genetic differences A. sandaracinos differs from A. pacificus in having a uniform orange colouration and the white forehead stripe extends onto the upper lip.

“There also appears to be modal differences in the number of soft dorsal and anal rays (usually 19 versus 18 and 13 versus 12 respectively for A. pacificus and A. sandaracinos).”

If you are interested in learning more about this new discovery, feel free to check out: Allen GR, Drew J and D Fenner (2010) – Amphiprion pacificus, a new species of anemonefish (Pomacentridae) from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Wallis Island, pp. 129-138. Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, Volume 16, Issue 3 – 15 July 2010.