No clowning around, this is no Nemo
THIS clownfish may look like just another "Nemo" on first glance, but its markings are exciting Far Northern researchers.
The clown anemonefish attracted the attention of a Cairns dive instructor when he realised it was missing a trademark white band that normally does a ring around the middle of its body.
James Cook University’s marine biology professor David Bellwood said he had seen only six similar examples in three decades.
He said it was "an unusual colour morph variant" of the well-known clown anemonefish.
"Anemonefish occasionally have missing or incomplete bars," he said.
"In some cases, there may be a genetic basis for the pattern as the offspring can maintain the unusual patterns when bred in captivity.
"In 30 years in this game I have seen only about half a dozen different examples in this species so it’s exciting."
Cairns dive instructor Vilimone Mataiwai snapped a picture of the fish while scuba diving on the Great Barrier Reef.
He believed the phenomena had never been seen before in local waters.
"Normally the white band on the waist goes around the whole body," he said.
"With this one it’s only on one side."
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