Scientific Name : Amphipron ocellaris Size : 3 - 10cm Average Life Expectancy : 6 – 10 years


There are nearly 30 known species of the clownfish, which stands out with its vivid colors. It mostly lives in shallow waters of the Red Sea, the Indian Ocean and the Pacific Ocean. Its average size is 6 cm. This species usually inhabits coral reefs. They prefer anemones as habitat, they live between the tentacles of this venomous animals, which resembles a plant. The transparent layer on the skin of the clownfish provides it with effective protection against the poison of the anemone that may be lethal to many other species. First the clownfish brushes against the anemone in order to "adapt to the environment", after which it settles between the tentacles. The anemone provides the clownfish with protection against other predators and food scraps between its tentacles, in return the clownfish cleans the anemone from parasites and keeps away unwanted guests. Thus a mutualist (mutually beneficial) relationship emerges between the two. The clownfish wouldn't be able to survive long in the wild without the anemone.

All clownfish are born as males. However, in order to obtain a dominant role in a group, they can change their sex and become female. But once they turned female they are not able to return to the male sex. Their communities have a strong hierarchy. The largest and aggressive female is at the top of the hierarchy. After this female leaves the group, one of the largest and most dominant males change their sex in order to take her place.

The average life expectancy of a clownfish is 6-10 years.

Where can it be seen?

You can see the clownfish in the Pacific Area of Istanbul Akvaryum.

Did you know?

  • Clownfish can clamp together in case of danger and appear as a bigger fish.
  • The main character in the animated movie Finding Nemo is a clownfish of the species Amphipron Ocellaris.
  • Clownfish are often preferred as aquarium fish.
  • These fish received their name from their colors, which resemble the make-up of a clown.