Effect of Light Intensity on Color Performance of False Clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris Cuvier.

Journal of the world aquaculture society (JWAS), 2009. 40(3):337-350

Color performance of false clownfish, Amphiprion ocellaris Cuvier, was examined under three levels of light intensity (20–50 , 600–850 , and 2700–3500 lx) for 5 wk. The experiment was conducted in nine rectangular glass aquaria (25 3 25 3 20 cm) with three replicates. Each aquarium was stocked with 36 fish, and 3 fish were randomly sampled from each aquarium every other week. Digital images were taken weekly on each individual fish after it was anesthetized in MS-222. The color performance in hue, saturation, and brightness was quantified using image analysis.
In addition to the whole-body analysis, each fish image was divided into ventral and dorsal parts to assess the body position dependent effect. Furthermore, color differences between dorsal fin, anal fin, ventral fin, and caudal fin were also quantified. The whole body was brighter at low light than at medium or at high light intensity. Irrespective of light intensity, the dorsal side was more orange but less bright than the ventral side. Brighter light strengthened overall orange color on fish fins. The dorsal fin and ventral fins appeared more orange than the anal and caudal fins regardless of light intensity and exposure duration. Similar to body color, low light also led to brighter fins, especially for caudal and dorsal fins. Our results indicate that ambient light could regulate fish color performance but could not change the pigment dominance by b-carotene.

Light intensity is unlikely to change the contrast between dorsal and ventral sides, but dim light tends to make fish body brighter, and bright light strengthens orange color on fins.

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