Clark’s Anemonefish, Amphiprion clarkia

Clark’s Anemonefish (Amphiprion clarkii) is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes.

This fish is of small size and grows up to 15 centimeters. It is stocky, laterally compressed, and round to oval in shape.

It is colorful with vivid black, white, and yellow stripes, though the exact pattern displays considerable geographical variation. Normally, it is black dorsally and orange-yellow ventrally, the black areas becoming wider with age. There are two vertical white bands, one behind the eye and one above the anus, and the caudal peduncle is a white color. The snout features an orange or pinkish color and the dorsal and tail fins are orange-yellow. The tail fin is usually lighter in tone as opposed to the rest of the body, occasionally becoming white. The juveniles are an orange-yellow color with vertical white bands.

This anemonefish is widely distributed within tropical waters from the Indo-West Pacific. It inhabits lagoons and outer reef slopes; living in association with many other species of sea anemones.

The fish is omnivorous and the diet is based on algae’s and zooplankton.

The anemone fish is diurnal. It is a protrandous hermaphrodite, the male quite often times changing its sex to become a female. The male may keep a harem. It is also territorial and aggressive. It depends on the sea anemones to provide a habitat and their nesting sites. The fish has a mucous coat to aid in protection from anemone stings. It is a mutualistic relationship. The clownfish help to attract prey items close to the anemone’s tentacles, and aids in defending it from tentacle-eating predators, such as butterflyfishes.

Image Caption: Clark’s Anemonefish or Yellowtail Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii, family Pomacentridae) with sea anemone. Credit: Ben Lancaster/Wikipedia (CC BY-SA 2.5)