A couple of days ago, we showed off an image of a weirdly colored aberrant clownfish from iBluewater. The gorgeous black and white Ocellaris looked almost completely normal, but what was so strange about it was that instead of having the normal white stripes found on the typical clownfish, its most posterior stripe (also often referred to as the third stripe) was bright blue. We obviously thought this was a cool, noteworthy feature, but we didn’t do so without some caution and skepticism. We prefer to give people the benefit of the doubt, hence we posted the original article without question, but this fish just didn’t make any sense to us and we tried to find ways to dismiss that bright blue stripe.
Our first thoughts were that the image was photoshopped. After all, it’s pretty common to alter photos in the online world, even more so with aquarium livestock. We tried a few techniques to determine whether or not the image was altered and came up with nothing. From there, we started thinking that perhaps a blue light had been focused on the tail. That theory didn’t pan out either as nothing else in the image was blue. Those two ideas out the window, we got some additional information straight from the source that confirmed this blue striped clownfish was in fact real.
We asked iBluewater to send us a few more photos of the stripe in question. Our thoughts were that if the image had been faked, we would get some excuse as to why the image originally posted was the only one available. To our surprise, Bob at iBluewater not only sent us back a pair of images almost immediately after we asked for them, but also included a great deal of information about the fish in question. Unfortunately for our ever curious minds, he couldn’t spill all of the beans, as he kept the location of where the fish was caught a secret (and who can blame him) because they are on the lookout for similar individuals in the area, but he was extremely helpful.
As can be seen in the pair of images at the top of the article, the clownfish truly does have this bright blue stripe. It’s no gimmick, it’s not a feature pulled out of the clownfish’s genetics with selective breeding. Instead, it’s a naturally occurring feature found in a wild-caught clownfish. And what a cool feature it is.