Friday Photospread: ORA’s New Snow Zombie Clownfish

27 Mar, 2020

ORA's new Snow Zombie Clownfish on display at the 2020 Global Pet Expo.

ORA’s new Snow Zombie Clownfish on display at the 2020 Global Pet Expo.

The Zombie Albino gene was discovered years ago and was described in the article New Age Mutant Clownfishes, found in the September/October 2014 issue of CORAL Magazine.

Amphiprion ocellaris Darwin “Zombie Albino”—This albino form, presumed to be a recessive trait, arose in captive-bred Black Ocellaris broodstock purchased in the early 2000s. It was discovered by Robert King and Tom Lamb. It is interesting how much black coloration develops. One normally expects about 25 percent albinos when the parents are both normally colored fish with a hidden gene; King and Lamb reported that there were roughly 70 albino and 40 normally colored siblings; this is more like 63 percent albinos. King hypothesized that the use of a larval trap pulled in mainly weaker larvae like the albinos, and this skewed the numbers.”

The Zombie Albino form of the Darwin Black Ocellaris remained an obscure, hard-to-find variant for several years, until King partnered with Florida-based Oceans, Reefs & Aquariums (ORA®) to bring the genetic variation to a mainstream audience.

Building on the Zombie Foundation

It was only a matter of time before the Zombie Albino Black Ocellaris (only offered at commercial scale starting in Fall 2019) saw its genetics leveraged into additional designer clownfish variations. The speed at which this new form was produced is remarkable, considering that it likely required two generations of breeding, using ORA’s Black Snowflake line to bring snowflake genetics into the mix.

At the 2020 Global Pet Expo, held in Orlando, Florida, ORA unveiled the fruits of their labor; a new form of the Zombie Black Albino, now carrying the Snowflake gene which causes aberrant over-development of normal stripes into unique and jagged patterns.

Meet ORA’s Snow Zombie Clownfish, as introduced at the 2020 Global Pet Expo in Orlando, Florida.

This smaller Snow Zombie is brighter orange, but may darken as it matures.

This smaller Snow Zombie is brighter orange, but may darken as it matures.

The reduced production of black pigmentation is a peculiar feature of albinism in clownfish, as we generally think of albinism as the complete lack of melanin.

The reduced production of black pigmentation is a peculiar feature of albinism in clownfish, as we generally think of albinism as the complete lack of melanin.

The genetics behind the Zombie Albino are clearly going to become another tool in the ornamental clownfish breeder's toolkit.

The genetics behind the Zombie Albino are clearly going to become another tool in the ornamental clownfish breeder’s toolkit.

It's entirely conceivable that with a few more generations we could have something like a "Storm Longfin Zombie" Ocellaris, and breeders could be putting together clownfish pairs that through a wide range of offspring genotypes in a single batch.

It’s entirely conceivable that with a few more generations we could have something like a “Storm Longfin Zombie” Ocellaris, and breeders could be putting together clownfish pairs that represent a wide range of offspring genotypes in a single batch.

There is no official word yet on when ORA will release the Snow Zombie Clownfish to the aquarium trade, although it has been suggested that there may be a limited release in mid-April, 2020.

There is no official word yet on when ORA will release the Snow Zombie Clownfish to the aquarium trade, although it has been suggested that there may be a limited release in mid-April, 2020.

You can learn more about the Zombie Albino genetic in these prior stories:

ORA Unleashes Zombie Clownfish on the Masses

ORA’s Zombie Clownfish Page

Robert King’s Sale Offering of Zombie Clownfish on Facebook, 2018

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About the author

Matt Pedersen
Matt Pedersen

Matt Pedersen is a Sr. Editor and Associate Publisher with Reef To Rainforest Media, LLC & CORAL Magazines, and is a Sr. Editor and Publishing Partner with Aquatic Media Press, LLC & AMAZONAS Magazine. Matt has kept aquariums for 38 years, has worked in most facets of the aquarium trade, is an active aquarist and fish breeder (both marine and freshwater), and was recognized with the 2009 MASNA Award as the MASNA Aquarist of the Year.

2 Comments

  1. March 31, 2020

    When you want the look of brook but dont want brook in your tank you get theee fish

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