Animal Species:Clown Anemonefish, Amphiprion percula (Lacépède, 1802)

The Clown Anemonefish was brought to international stardom in the Pixar animated film Finding Nemo. It occurs in tropical marine waters of Melanesia and Queensland feeding on algae and zooplankton.

A Clown Anemonefish at Great Barrier Reef

A Clown Anemonefish at Great Barrier Reef
Photographer: Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Clown Anemonefish


The Clown Anemonefish can be recognised by its orange colour with three white bars (the middle bar usually has a rounded bulge anteriorly) and black markings on the fins.

Size range

The species grows to 8 cm in length.


It occurs in tropical marine waters of Melanesia and Queensland. In Australia it is known from the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

The similar species, the False-Clown Anemonefish, Amphiprion ocellaris, is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia and the Northern Territory but not from the Great Barrier Reef.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Amphiprion percula

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Clown Anemonefish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


It usually lives in the tentacles of two species of sea anemone. In sheltered inshore reefs it lives in Stichodactyla gigantea, and on outer reefs it usually lives in Heteractis magnifica.

The Clown Anemonefish is found in depths from 1 m to 12 m.

Feeding and Diet

 It feeds on algae and zooplankton.


Clown Anemonefish

What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1993. Reef Fishes of New Guinea. A Field Guide for Divers, Anglers and Naturalists. Christensen Research Institute. No. 8. Pp. 132.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. & H. Debelius. 1994. south-east Asia. Tropical Fish Guide. IKAN-Unterwasserarchiv. Pp. 321.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R & R.C. Steene. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 507.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags ichthyology, Clown Anemonefish, Amphiprion percula, Pomacentridae, fishes, orange, white, black, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult,