Thai National Parks

Marine spacies of Thailand

Species of Thailand

Clark's anemonefish

Binomial name: Amphiprion clarkii, Edward Turner Bennett, 1830

Amphiprion clarkii, known commonly as Clark's anemonefish and yellowtail clownfish, is a marine fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae, the clownfishes and damselfishes.


Clark's anemonefish is a small-sized fish which grows up to 10 cm as a male and 15 cm as a female. It is stocky, laterally compressed, and oval to rounded.

It is colorful, with vivid black, white, and yellow stripes, though the exact pattern shows considerable geographical variation. Usually 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 white. The snout is orange or pinkish. The dorsal and tail fins are orange-yellow, and the tail fin is generally lighter in tone than the rest of the body, sometimes becoming whitish. Juveniles are orange-yellow with vertical white bands.


Clark's anemonefish is widely distributed in tropical waters from the Indo-West Pacific.


The adult inhabits lagoons and outer reef slopes. It lives in association with about ten species of sea anemones:

  • Cryptodendrum adhaesivum
  • Entacmaea quadricolor
  • Heteractis aurora
  • Heteractis crispa
  • Heteractis magnifica
  • Heteractis malu
  • Macrodactyla doreensis
  • Stychodactyla gigantea
  • Stychodactyla haddoni
  • Stychodactyla mertensii


Clark's anemonefish is omnivorous and its diet is based on zooplankton and algaes.


The fish is diurnal. It is a protrandous hermaphrodite, the male often changing sex to become a female. A male may keep a harem. The fish is also aggressive and territorial. Without a host, Clark's anemonefish stays close to rockwork. Otherwise, it is dependent on sea anemones to provide a habitat and nesting sites. The fish has a mucous coat to protect it from anemone stings. It is a mutualistic relationship. The clownfish helps to attract prey items close to the anemone's tentacles, and helps to defend it from tentacle-eating predators, such as butterflyfishes.

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Scientific classification

Amphiprion clarkii

Range Map