Animal Species:Orange-fin Anemonefish, Amphiprion chrysopterus (Cuvier, 1830)

The Orange-fin Anemonefish lives between the tentacles of several anemone species where it feeds on zooplankton and algae.

An Orange-fin Anemonefish at Osprey Reef

An Orange-fin Anemonefish at Osprey Reef
Photographer: Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

Orange-fin Anemonefish


The Orange-fin Anemonefish has a moderately deep, compressed body. The body is brown to black with two white to blue bars. The dorsal fin is orange to yellow and the tail is white. There is some variation in the colouration of the anal fin across the geographic range of this species. The anal fin of Australian fish is black.

The Orange-fin Anemonefish looks similar to the Barrier Reef Anemonefish and Clark's Anemonefish.

The Barrier Reef Anemonefish is a lighter colour than the Orange-fin Anemonefish and its anal fin is never black. The Barrier Reef Anemonefish is much more common than the Orange-fin Anemonefish.

Clark's Anemonefish has a wider bar on the side of the body and almost always a third bar across the tail base.

Size range

16 cm


It occurs in tropical marine waters of the Western Pacific.

In Australia it is known from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland.

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 chrysopterus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Orange-fin Anemonefish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?


It lives among the tentacles of several species of anemones at depths from 1 m to 20 m. It has been seen in the tentacles of Stichodactyla mertensii, Heteractis crispa and H.aurora.

Feeding and Diet

The species feeds mainly on zooplankton and algae.



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Mergus. Pp. 271.
  2. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 220.
  3. Fautin D.G. & Allen. G.R. 1992. Anemone Fishes and their host Sea Anemones. A guide for aquarists and divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 160.
  4. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 251.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Orange-fin Anemonefish, Amphiprion chrysopterus, Pomacentridae, yellow, black, orange, white, blue, 'normal fish', 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, coral reef, marine, adult,


Mark McGrouther - 11.11 AM, 05 November 2010

Thanks johnson and Matt - I guess this means that I should 'resurrect' your photos from being image attachments to full assets on the site.  I'll contact you when that is done.

johnson - 10.11 AM, 05 November 2010

Yes, I would agree you have Clark's Anemonefish.

The bars are often much wider than this, particularly in smaller specimens, but the  first two are always about equal. There can also be quite a lot of colour variation, with some individuals having a yellow or orange ground colour to the body, rather than dark brown or black, as in Matt's fish.  

Mark McGrouther - 8.11 AM, 05 November 2010

Thanks for submitting the additional image Matt.  The bars look to be similar in width to me indicating that the fish is indeed Clark's Anemonefish, what do you think johnson?

MattD - 10.11 PM, 04 November 2010
Hi Mark Yes I can. Here is a different view of the same fish. Regards Matt

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Mark McGrouther - 5.11 PM, 04 November 2010

Thank you for your comment johnson.  I appreciate your input.  Well Matt, can you rise to johnson's challenge?  Do you have the images he needs?

johnson - 5.11 PM, 04 November 2010

This is a great character shot of the anemonefish, but the front-on angle makes a positive id difficult. Colouration of the caudal and dorsal fins is quite like Clark's Anemonefish, but ideally you need a good view of the relative widths of the white bars on the nape and midbody. If Matt has some further lateral shots of the fish, the info below may help to distinguish these two similar species.

Clark's Anemonefish has the nape and midbody bars about equal in width, while the Yellow-fin Anemonefish has the nape bar somewhat wider than the midbody one. 


Mark McGrouther - 2.11 PM, 04 November 2010

Hi Matt,  Thanks for your comment and for attaching the lovely image.  I think that the fish is probably Clark's Anemonefish, Amphiprion clarkii.  It has two entire, 'regular-shaped' bars (head and body), a dorsal fin that is yellow posteriorly (and not entirely black) and a yellow caudal fin.  I'll contact a few of my colleagues who know more about anemonefishes than me, and ask them to have a look at your photo. Watch this space!

MattD - 7.11 PM, 01 November 2010
Hi Mark What type of Anemonefish is this one? I don't think that it is the same as this one. I took this shot while snorkeling with my Son at Hideaway Island in Vanuatu. Regards Matt

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