Clown Fish Special Edition 1

There’s more than one type of clown fish. Discover the amazing variety in our clown fish special!

Clown fish species and their anemone a special report!

There are over 50 different types of clown fish. They can be tiny and grow to quite a large size! They’re not all orange and white like in the film, Finding Nemo. Some are black, some are yellow and some are even red! On our various travels, we have been lucky enough to snorkel and dive in some clownfish hot spots.

Quick Index

Clown fish heaven awaits in Malaysian waters. Look at the colour of the corals too!
 Malaysian reefs are teeming with various species of clown fish. This is the famous orange and white one, but, there are plenty of others!


Where to find clown fish

Unfortunately to see them, you’re going to have to travel. We see the most clownfish in Malaysian waters. The clear, calm, warm waters, make it a pleasure to float over these cute and colourful underwater dwellers.Hot spots closest to Europe are the Red Sea in Egypt. Some travellers we met recently said Turkey was good. J dived in Mexico off the Yucatan Peninsula. In Australia, the Great Barrier Reef is of course the place to go. Asian hot spots are Thailand, Indonesia and Malaysia. For the Americas, it’s Carribean waters and Mexico. The Indian Ocean also provides opportunities near the Seychelles, Madagascar and Maldives.

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We can’t get enough of these colourful hard corals which contain the anemone and their clownfish! So many different corals to spot!

Clown fish have a symbiotic relationship with anemone, the floaty looking algae that clings to corals and rocks on the ocean and sea floor.

Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
Orange fin anemone fish coming out to say hello. If you love finding Nemo, you’re going to adore diving in Malaysia and the Great Barrier Reef. Not all anemone is green. There is a huge variety of anemone colours, just like clown fish colours. This clownfish has one vertical stripe. Scientific name – frenatus.
Diving in Malaysia amazing coral reef and spectacular marine life
Bet you have never seen neon pink anemone? We have! For the first time ever, we spot this black, white and orange clown fish family fiercely defending their bright pink home. Amazing.

Lots of the anemone can be spotted, with their clownfish in these hard corals. Shaped like round ‘fish bowls’ they are a spectacular sight of bright purple, red, blue or green.

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Often clownfish can be seen swimming out of these colourful hard round corals.
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This amazing green and blue ‘fish bowl’ coral is a home for the anemone and the clown fish. We see this one off Redang Island, Malaysia.


Clownfish Classification

Adult clownfish are classified depending on their colour patterns.

Group one – No vertical stripe.

Group two – one vertical stripe on the head.

Group three – two vertical stripes (one on the head, the other on the body).

Group four – three vertical stripes (one on the head, one on the body trunk, and the last one on the peduncle).

Group five – fishes having stripes polymorphism

Click here to learn more about clown fish classification and their scientific names.

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This is a clown fish too! This clown fish doesn’t have vertical stripes. It is called sandaracinos. Look at the beautiful purple anemone and the stag horn coral around the ‘fish bowl’.


Amazing clown fish facts

  • The scientific name is Amphiprioninae – that’s quite a mouthful. We’ll stick with clown fish!
  • The anemone that clownfish live in have poisonous tentacles but, they don’t affect the clownfish. The poisonous tentacles are to ward off other predators and protect the clown fish. Clownfish are not just cute, they’re smart too! They lure other fish towards the anemone with their beautiful, bright colours. The anemone then eats the other fish with its poisonous tentacles. Great teamwork!
  • If a clown fish is born male, he has the potential to become a female as an adult! The biggest male in a large group will become female. 
  • Male clownfish cannot change back to female after the change has happened.
  • Male clown fish look after the fertilised eggs.
  • All clown fish are hermaphrodites. That means they are all born male and have the ability to develop into females, as an adult.
  • Girl power – all clownfish groups are led by a dominant female.
  • Clown fish live in groups in outer reefs and sheltered lagoons.  
  • Like all animal species, there is a hierachy of dominant male and female clown fish. The older the clown fish pair, the more dominant they are! 
  • Size matters! The bigger you are, the more dominant you are in your social group.
  • Male clownfish can get aggressive at spawning time. They will bite the female!
  • Female clownfish can lay thousands of eggs at a time. Yes, more clownfish in the seas and oceans!
  • Eggs that are not fertilised or are damaged, get eaten by the male!
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Clown fish are classified according to their stripes. Some clownfish have one stripe, some have two stripes. THis blue and black clownfish is called polmnus and is in group 5.
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Although this fish doesn’t look pink, it is the pink skunk clown fish. We see this fish off the warm clear waters of the Perhentian Islands, Malaysia. Look at the bright blue anemone that the pink skunk clownfish has a symbiotic relationship with.
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This black and blue clownfish has three stripes and belongs in group 4. These black and blue clownfish tend to be larger than the orange and white famous Finding Nemo clownfish. This one is a bit shy and was very aggressive, so we couldn’t get a side shot!

Clownfish like warm waters, but they can thrive in cooler waters too. By cool, we mean for the humans. On a lot of the Great Barrier Reef, you will need to wear a wet suit. The water is quite cool, about 20 to 21 degrees celcius.

diving on the Great Barrier Reef
You’ll need a wet suit when you’re Finding Nemo on the Great Barrier Reef.

On a recent trip to the Great Barrier Reef, we saw the orange and sky blue clownfish. You don’t need to dive to see this fish on the Great Barrier Reef. Most people on the day trip were snorkellers. Sometimes you get lucky snorkelling, as the snorkellers saw, a rare sighting of a single bumphead parrot fish. The divers on this trip to the Lodstone Reef, two hours from Townsville, did not. As with everything in Australia, it is huge!

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We love this bright orange and blue clown fish. These are commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef, Australia.
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You little beauties! Black and white clown fish spotted. Tick! Lodstone Reef, Great Barrier Reef, two hours from Townsville, Queensalnd, Australia.

What are you waiting for? Strap on that snorkel mask or wiggle your way into your wet suit and let’s make find some more Nemos!

If you have any photos you would like to share, we would love to see them. Get in touch via our contact us page and we will upload your pic onto this blog!

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Hello there! Get in touch with your clown fish photos and we’ll feature you on our blog!

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