Red and Black Anemonefish

The Red and Black Anemonefish (Amphiprion melanopus) is a tropical marine (saltwater) fish in the Pomacentridae family of clownfish and damselfish. It is also known as the Cinnamon Clownfish or Dusky Clownfish.

The Red and Black Anemonefish has an oval-shaped, flat, compressed body. It is dark-red to orange with orangish-mahonany-brown sides. The juvenile has a wide, white head band. Its dorsal (back) and caudal (tail) fins are lighter than the rest of its body, often with a cinnamon colour.

Red and Black Anemonefish

It grows to about 12 centimetres (5 inches) in length.

It is native to the western and southern Pacific Ocean, from Australia’s Great Barrier Reef to Guam, New Guinea, and Indonesia. It lives among sea anemones, but it is not affected by their stinging tentacles. The anemone protects the Red and Black Anemonefish from pedators.

The Red and Black Anemonefish prefers warm topical waters in shallow, sheltered coral reefs and lagoons. 

It is diurnal, active during the day. It is omnivorous, eating algae, plankton, worms, and small crabs.

It lives in groups, headed by the most aggressive female. 

It is oviparous. The female lays about 500 eggs, which hatch after 6-8 days. The young fish, called fry, can swim freely after hatching. 

The Red and Black Anemonefish, like all clownfish, is a sequential hermaphrodite. This means that it starts its life as a male, and when it is mature (an adult), it becomes a female.

Location of photograph: Sea Life London Aquarium, England 

Photographer: Martina Nicolls


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