Clownfish are small, bottom-dwelling fishes that live in the coral reefs and shallow areas of the ocean. They have a shiny appearance and can grow up to 10.99 cm (4.3 in) long. Their coloration varies between individuals; some are brown or black, while others are bright orange or blue. They have large mouths and sometimes protruding teeth and have a single dorsal fin on their back.
There are over a dozen different types of clownfish with 100 various color morphs, each with its own unique set of characteristics. Some common types include the cinnamon clownfish, the maroon clownfish, and the saddleback clownfish. A clownfish is a type of fish that possesses an unusual ability. It can change the color of its body to blend in with the seafloor or even the sky. This makes it extremely difficult for predators to spot and attack.
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The Most Interesting Types of Clownfish
You’ve probably heard of clownfish before, but how many different types are there? The species vary greatly from one another and in some cases even within the same species. Let’s take a look at the different types of clownfish.
Anemone Clownfish (Amphiprioninae)
The anemone clownfish is the most common type of clownfish. This fish is typically orange or brown with a white marking on its head that makes it look like an anemone. It has thin, spiny fins and large eyes that are located near the front of its head. The anemone clownfish usually feeds on small crustaceans and other creatures that live inside the coral polyp where it lives.
True Percula Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)
It has a bright orange or yellow coloring and large eyes that are located on either side of its head. This fish is different in other ways as well. For example, it has longer fins than the anemone and false Percula clownfish varieties, and its mouth is surrounded by small teeth instead of gills like other types of clownfish. The True Percula clownfish is found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the world.
Cinnamon Clownfish (Amphiprion melanopus)
This is the most brightly colored of all clownfish and can be any color from light green to deep red. The Cinnamon Clownfish has large eyes that are located at the front of its head and short, spiny fins. It feeds on plankton, small fish, crustaceans, and other creatures that live in coral reefs.
Tomato Clownfish (Amphiprion frenatus)
This is the second most brightly colored type of clownfish. This fish typically has a bright red color with black markings on its body and fins. It has a long-finned and spiny body with a small head that is located just behind the eyes. The Tomato Clownfish feeds mainly on small crustaceans, mollusks, and insects that live in the coral reef where it lives.
Maroon Clownfish (Premnas biaculeatus)
This is one of the most aggressive types of clownfish and has bright red-orange coloring that somehow looks like maroon. It typically has three white lines running down its body and fins. The Maroon Clownfish usually feeds on small invertebrates that live in coral reefs or near water surfaces.
Clarkii Clownfish (Amphiprion clarkii)
A Clarkii clownfish is a tropical fish that is commonly found in the aquarium trade. They are popular for their bright colors and are often used as ornamental fish. Clarkii clownfish are omnivorous and will eat a variety of food items, including flakes, pellets, vegetables, and fruits. They are also known to be voracious predators and will feed on small fish, invertebrates, and other clarkii clownfish.
Pink Skunk Clownfish (Amphiprion perideraion)
This clownfish has a bright pink color with white markings on its body and fins. It is one of the smaller types of clownfish and typically has a length of around inches. The Pink Skunk Clownfish usually feeds on live food, such as small worms, insects, etc., that it finds in coral reefs or near water surfaces.
Saddleback Clownfish (Amphiprion polymers)
The Saddleback Clownfish is one of the most popular types of clownfish and typically has bright red, black, or yellow coloring. It often has white markings around its neck that make it look like saddlebags. The saddleback clownfish feeds mainly on small crustaceans and fish that live in coral reefs where it lives.
Picasso Clownfish (Amphiprion percula)
Picasso Clownfish have very bright orange skin and black and white spots. Its belly is light yellow. Its dorsal fin has black bars at the base, with white rays extending outwards and upwards. Its anal fin has three spines which are of different sizes, two larger spines, and one smaller spine. The blue markings on its head extend to the top of its gill cover, while its pectoral fins are red with black edges.
Ocellaris Clownfishes (Amphiprion ocellaris)
The Snowflake Clownfish is a beautiful clownfish that has white and snowflake-like markings on its body. It typically has a yellow or orange color with occasional flashes of black. The Snowflake Clownfish feeds mainly on invertebrates, such as amphipods, worms, and coral polyps.
Wyoming White Clownfish
The Wyoming White Clownfish has a black and white body with bright orange cheeks. It has two dorsal fins, the first of which is tall and spiny, while the second fin is shorter but also quite spiny. The fish has small pectoral fins at the rear of its body, as well as one long anal fin.
Phantom Clownfish are a type of sea anemone-eating fish found in coral reefs around the world. The species is named for its phantom-like appearance, as it often looks like a black patch of skin with the majority of its physical appearance looking like white snowflakes. The fish’s most distinguishing feature is the striking white coloration that gives it an almost ghostly appearance.
Frostbite Clownfish are a tropical species that can be found in warmer areas of the Indo-Pacific to Oceania. They are the result of breeding Snowflake Clownfish and Wyoming White Clownfish. Frostbite Clownfish do not require much space and can survive on a wide variety of foods, from algae to shrimp. This is why they are often used as attractive decorations for aquariums.
The Domino Clownfish is a relatively common species of clownfish found in coral reefs around the world. It has an oblong body with two, rounded dorsal fins. The fish’s total black body without any markings or stripes is its most distinctive feature, followed by its large white eyes.
Black Storm Clownfish
The Black Storm Clownfish is a rare, highly specialized species of clownfish found among countries in Southeast Asia. It has an incredibly white body with striking black and brown markings that give it a fearsome appearance.
Snow Storm Clownfish
The Snow Storm Clownfish is another rare and specialized clownfish found in Southeast Asia. It has a white body coloration with black and light blue spots and circles located around its fins and tail.
DaVinci Ocellaris Clownfish
The Davinci ocellaris clownfish is a tropical fish that is commonly found in the eastern Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean. It is known for its colorful and elaborate patterning on its white body, which makes it an attractive fish to keep in a reef aquarium.
What Is the Rarest Clownfish?
There are no one clownfish species that is the rarest, as clownfishes are fairly common in the reefs around the world. However, some clownfish varieties can be quite difficult to find and may only be found in a few specific locations. The Black Storm Clownfish and Snow Storm Clownfish are two of these extremely rare varieties.
Another very rare species of clownfish is the McCullochi Clownfish which is a type of clownfish found in Australia, specifically near Lord Howe.
What Is the Most Common Type of Clownfish?
The most common type of clownfish is the Anemone Clownfish. This fish is typically green or brown with a white marking on its head that makes it look like an anemone. It has thin, spiny fins and large eyes that are located near the front of its head.