Clownfish -or anemonefish- include 30 species divided into two genera: Amphiprion and Premnas. They are part of the Pomacentridae family (damselfish), but we prefer to present them here on a dedicated page. You can find here the page with the other species of damselfish.
Clownfish -or anemonefish- are certainly the most popular of reef fish. They belong to the damselfish family and are known for their ability to live among the tentacles of sea anemones.
Clownfish color varies from orange, red, pink, and even yellow or black, with white bars or stripes on their bodies, depending on the species. Colorful, they are wonderfully photogenic.
Watching a clownfish swimming up and down and “playing” in its sea anemone is one of the most captivating sights of coral reef life.
The most famous clownfish in popular culture is the ocellaris clownfish, the main character from the 2003 animated film Finding Nemo, but the clownfish family comprises nearly 30 other different species.
Clownfish are found in the warm waters of the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and the western Pacific Ocean. They are totally absent in the Caribbean and Atlantic regions, as well as in the eastern Pacific Ocean (including the Hawaiian Islands).
Clark’s anemonefish is the most widely distributed clownfish, present from eastern Africa to the Western Pacific, while the ocellaris clownfish is spread from the west coast of Thailand to eastern Australia and the Solomon Islands.
Some other species have very restricted distribution areas, such as the Oman anemonefish, only found on the Arabian Sea coast of Oman, and the Mauritian anemonefish, endemic to Mauritius and Réunion.
Only one species, the Red Sea clownfish, inhabits the Red Sea.
Pink skunk clownfish
Orange skunk clownfish
Barrier Reef anemonefish
Red Sea clownfish
Check out our top12 snorkeling spots to see clownfish!
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