Of the nearly 30 species of clownfish, there are two types commonly referred to as the orange clownfish—Amphiprion percula and Amphiprion ocellaris. The percula clownfish is distinguished by its vivid orange color and white bands outlined in black.
All clownfish are born male. As they mature, they usually pair off with another clownfish and the dominant individual becomes a female. The female lays eggs, which are protected by both parents until they hatch.
This family of fish is also known as anemonefish because of the symbiotic relationship they have with sea anemones. By building up a protective mucous coating, the clownfish is immune to the stinging cells of the anemone. The clownfish makes its home within the anemone’s tentacles, which gives it protection from predators; in return, the anemone gets to eat the leftovers from the clownfish’s meals. Clownfish also help keep anemones clean.
A Note From the Caretaker
This is one of the most popular fish among home aquarium hobbyists.
Learn more about percula clownfish! Did you know that clownfish are immune to the stinging cells of anemone?
Clownfish can be found in coral reefs in Australia, Indonesia, Singapore and the Solomon Islands.
Clownfish are omnivores, feeding on a varied diet consisting of algae, zooplankton, worms and small crustaceans. At the Aquarium, we feed them small pieces of shrimp and smelt, as well as krill.
Clownfish grow to approximately 3 inches in length.
This species is not considered to be threatened.
Larger fish such as lionfish, snapper, grouper, triggers and eels will prey on clownfish.
Meet the Expert Jack Cover
As the National Aquarium's general curator, Jack Cover ensures that all animals in our care thrive in healthy, beautiful habitats.