Nov. 30, 2019

A new study published in the journal Ecology Letters has concluded that clownfish cannot be expected to be able to adapt to a rapidly changing environment as it does not have the genetic capacity to do so.


  • Clownfish (family: Pomacentridae), also known as anemonefish, are some of the most iconic marine fish in the world.

  • They are highly popular among SCUBA divers due to their striking colour combinations of white, orange, yellow and brown.

  • There are a total of 28 species of clownfish, which are all very similar in their habits. Perhaps the most renowned of these is the Common Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris), which was popularised in the Walt Disney movie ‘Finding Nemo’.

  • Distribution: Clownfish are found in tropical and subtropical areas of the Pacific and Indian Oceans. The greatest diversity of clownfish is found close to Papua New Guinea, although the Great Barrier Reef in Australia is also known for a number of unique variants

  • Habitat: Within their range, clownfish are restricted to shallow waters due to their fascinating relationship with only a handful of specific sea-anemone species.