Clownfish Field Guide

ORDER: Pomacentridae meaning Damselfishes, Amphiprioninae

A very large family split into three subfamilies Amphiprioninae – Anemonefish (Clownfish), Chrominae which includes Dascyllus and Pomacentrinae. Most of these genera are distinct in shape and characteristics.

Western Clown Anemone – Amphiprion ocellaris

Western Clown Anemone – Amphiprion ocellaris. Everyones favourite and quite common in tropical and west pacific regions. Usually living in association with the H. magnifica anemone.

Clarks Anemonefish – Ampiprion clarkii

Will associate with a wide range of Anemones, more than most other species of Clownfish. They live with the H.aurora Anemone, which will be host to a variety of different species of Clownfish. In the images below we can see an adult fish tending to the eggs and living with H. Crispa Sea Anemone. The eggs are attached to the bottom substrate via adhesive filaments.

Spine Cheek Anemonefish – Premnas biaculeatus

Identified by spine below the eye. Always associating themselves with the E. quadricolor. The fish in the 1st image below is a juvenile, fortunate to find a vacant Sea Anemone.

Pink Anemonefish – Amphiprion perideraion

Found mainly in Asia but also through to Australia. Lives with several different host anemones.

Skunk Anemonefish – Amphiprion sandaraeinos

Widespread throughout Indonesia to Phillipines. Accociates with H. crispa and S.mertensii Anemones.

Blackfoot Anemonefish – Amphiprion nigripes

Found only in the Maldives and Sri Lanka. Living exclusively with the H. magnifica Anemone.

Panda Clown Anemone – Amphiprion polymnus

This species is uaually found well away from the reef, on sandy slopes or sea beds. Adult fish tending their egg. Just before hatching the eyes of the fish within the eggs will turn silver. In total the eggs are only incubated for approximately 6-8 days. The eggs are attached to the bottom substrate via adhesive filaments.

Bridled Anemonefish – Amphiprion frenatus

Mainly accociates with E.quadricolour but also found in H.crispa and H. magnifica Anemones. This species is often confused with the Black Anemonefish, they are identical other than black ventral and anal fins on the Black, whereas this species are Red.

Dascyllus – Damselfish

Closely related to Clownfish, part of the same family. Noted for aggressive behavior when guarding territory.

Learn more about the habitat of the Clownfish / Damselfish on our Anemones Marine Biology pages.

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