4 Difference Between True Vs False Percula Clownfish

There are almost 30 types of clownfish. Some of the most popular clownfish are True Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion Percula), and the Ocellaris Clownfish (Amphiprion Ocellaris), which also goes by the name of the “False Percula”. People often confuse True vs False Percula clownfish because they look quite similar in color and appearance. Their bodies are bright orange with black stripes. However, the similarities mostly end there, and they have a lot of differences. These two types of fish are two different species.

NNew clownfish, even experienced clownfish owners sometimes can’t identify the two. In this article, I will show a few different points to identify True vs False Percula clownfish.

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Difference Between True Vs False Percula Clownfish

These two types of clownfish share the same coloration and primary pattern. However, you will be surprised when the main difference between them also comes from physical appearance. To realize these differences, take a closer look, dig deeper, and fully analyze both fish species.

1. Dorsal fin spines: The True Percula Clown’s dorsal fins are comprised of 10 spines. Instead of 10 spines, the False Percula has 11 spines that make the dorsal fin. On rare occasions, the True Percula Clown will have 9 dorsal spines, and the False Percula will have 10. But this is very rare. In general, the True Percula will have 10 and the False Percula 11. In addition, the False Percula has a higher back part of the dorsal fin than the True Percula.

2. Black outlines: False Perculas often have thin black lines that outline and draw attention to the larger white stripes. Sometimes the black lines are so thin that the black is imperceptible., but there is almost always at least a thin black outline. 

The True Percula, on the other hand, have thicker black lines that outline the white stripes

3. Eye color: Another feature to identify these two types of fish is eye color. True Percula Clown’s eyes are black with pronounced orange color surrounding the pupil. In contrast, the False Percula Clown has darker eyes with a hint of orange.

4. Distribution in the wild: False Percula Clownfish are wild-caught clown and tend to be found in the warm waters off the coast of Northern Australia and Southeast Asia.

True Percula Clownfish are usually found in the warm waters of New Guinea and the Solomon Islands.

False Percula Clownfish
False Percula Clownfish
True Percula Clownfish
True Percula Clownfish

How False And True Percula Clownfish Are Similar?

The truth is that there are many people who confuse these two fish, even those who are experienced, long-time clownfish ownerr. Because they are so similar in appearance that they are indistinguishable at a glance.

In addition, they also have similar behaviors. In the wild, both True and False percula clownfish host sea anemones and have a symbiotic relationship with them. They eat a similar diet and have similar care requirements both in captivity and in the wild.

Both of these clownfish are semi-aggressive, friendly, and somewhat passive. However, in general, the True Percula clownfish is more aggressive than the False Percula clownfish.

They are both relatively easy to care for and make a good starter fish for those beginning their marine and reef-keeping journey. 

Can an Ocellaris and a Percula Clownfish Mate?

Yes, even though they are two different types of fish, they can be paired with each other. Then they will spawn fish that obviously a cross between the two

Are Percula more aggressive than Ocellaris?

Yes, True Perculas grow larger than its False counterpart (Ocellaris) and are more aggressive, and not as hardy for the most part. 

Is Nemo a Percula or Ocellaris?

Nemo in the movie is a False Purcula or an Ocellaris Clownfish because it has thin black lines that both Nemo and his father Marlin have. 


So, these species of clownfish look very similar and still have a few differences. However, they are both relatively easy to care for and make a good starter fish for those beginning their marine and reef-keeping journey.

I hope you enjoyed our article about the differences between True and False Percula clownfish. 

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