Amphiprion clarkii

Super Group: 
Bennett 1830
Amphiprion boholensis (Cartier 1874)
Amphiprion japonicus (Temminck & Schlegel 1843)
Amphiprion melanostolus (Richardson 1842)
Anthias clarkii (Bennet 1830)
Amphiprion xanthurus (Cuvier 1830)


Diagnosis_Genus: Amphiprion Bloch & Schneider. i.e. utrinque serratus. Operculorum folia (laminae) anteriora et posteriora serrata.
Diagnosis_Species: Anthias clarkii Bennett. Body dark purple, approaching to black, divided by three white streaks; the first curves from the front of the dorsal fin, near the eye, and terminates on the lower plate; the second streak crosses the body from about the middle of the dorsal to the front spine of the anal fin; the third streak curves inwards from the outer rays of the caudal fin. Part of the head, the body between the pectoral and ventral fins, and the caudal fin, are bright yellow, tinged with orange; the dorsal and anal fins are purple. Mouth situated high; the iris golden. Branchiostegous rays 2. Dorsal 25, ten spinous. Pectoral 18. Ventral 6, one spinous. Anal 15, two spinous. Caudal 16.

Of large size for a clownfish, it has flat and tall body reaching the 13-15 cm of length. The dorsal fin, unique as in all clownfishes, has 10 spiny rays plus 15-16 soft, the anal 2 spiny rays and 13-14 soft, whilst the pectoral ones, ample and roundish, count 19-20 unarmed rays. The ventral fins are more or less rounded, like the lobes of the caudal, tendentially crescent-shaped. The livery, rather variable on the geographic level, is brown-orange on the snout, the belly and the fins, but the dorsal mostly almost black as the remainder of the body. In any case are evident three white vertical bands interesting also the back, breaking the contour of the fish. The first is at level of the operculum, close to the eye, the second at the beginning of the soft rays of the dorsal and the third one on the caudal peduncle. The caudal fin can be yellow-orange or white.
Body_adults_length: 9-13 cm
Body_adults_female_length_max: 15 cm
Body_adults_male_length_max: 12 cm
Body_larvae_newly_hatched_length: 2.5-3.0 mm (Sahandi, 2011)
Body_juvenile_length: > 8 mm (Sahandi, 2011) (12-15 days post hatching)
Sequence_mtDNA: KJ174498 (Tao et al. 2014)
Sequence_12sRNA: AF285923 (Tang 2001), AF081219 (Jang-Liaw et al. 2002)
Sequence_16sRNA: AF285945 (Tang 2001)


Amphiprion: from the Greek “amphi” = “on both sides” and “priön” = saw.
The name of the species clarkii honours the memory of the engraver John Clark, who helped Bennett with the drawings of his book about the fishes found on the coast of Ceylon.

Type species

The type species of the genus Amphiprion is Lutjanus ephippium (Bloch 1790) (Fishwisepro)

Type illustration / Type locality / Type specimen

Type illustration: p188, Bennet 1830
Type locality: Southern coast of Sri Lanka (Fishwisepro)


Amphiprion clarkii lives in Indo-West Pacific: Persian Gulf to Western Australia, throughout the Indo-Australian Archipelago and in the western Pacific at the islands of Melanesia and Micronesia, north to Taiwan, southern Japan and the Ryukyu Islands (Fishbase).
Substrate: water
Sociability_adults: gregarious
Salinity: marine
pH: Neutral (7.5-8.5)
Temperature: 27-32°C
Depth: 1-60 m
Depth_eggs: demersal (Fishbase)
Depth_larvae: pelagic
Habitat: coastal
Oxygen_level: oxic

Life cycle

The life span of the Amphiprion clarkii is about 10 years, 5 to 8 years in captivity.
Amphiprion clarkii is a non migratory species (Fishbase).
Spawning occurs near the full moon (animaldiversity).
Amphiprion clarkii is sexual dimorphic, female are larger than male and male displays different color during the reproduction period.
Longevity: more then 3 years
Generation_time: 8-18 months
Reproduction_mode: sexual_hermaphrodite_protandrous (oviparous)
Spawning_method: external fertilization in the water column
Fecondity_number_of_eggs_per_adult: 600-700 eggs (animaldiversity)
Fertility_period: year-round (in the tropics) (animaldiversity)
Fertility_period: seasonal (during summer) (in northern regions) (animaldiversity)


Feeding behaviour


Mode of locomotion

Motility: motile_swimming


Observation site(s)


ASQME static network (beta)

ASQME dynamic network (beta)

ASQME map (beta)