Species encyclopedia

Clark’s Anemonefish

Amphiprion clarkii


They live in communities led by a dominant couple.

All of them are born male and, as they grow, some of them will change sexes. When the dominant female (always bigger than the males) dies, she is immediately replaced by the dominant male, who changes sex.


From the age of 1 year, when they are old enough to breed, clownfish lay 1 mm eggs that they attach to a rock close to the anemone where they live. Eggs are laid all year round, but no more than six days before or after the full moon. The number of eggs per clutch varies from 100 to 700. Egg incubation is dependent on the temperature and lasts 6 to 10 days. The male monitors and ventilates the eggs throughout incubation while the female chases any intruders away.


Clownfish are the only fish that can survive the touch of the venomous tentacles of sea anemone, which provide them with protection from predators. This symbiosis is made possible because the juvenile clownfish coat themselves with the anemone’s mucus by brushing against them over and over. That mucus is believed to contain a substance than inhibits the effects of the anemone’s stinging cells. When a fish leaves its anemone for more than two hours, it will need to coat itself with mucus once more.

Clownfish feed on small prey like small crustaceans found in plankton.

Clownfish make noise to drive intruders out of their territory. Those sounds have been recorded at the Aquarium for you to listen to during your visit.

Indo-Pacific area


Species encyclopedia

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