Tomato Clownfish

Tomato Clownfish Amphiprion frenatus

Type of Animal:

Lagoon reefs & tropical reefs, host in anemones as well as in corals

W & Indo-Pacific from S Japan to Indonesia, N Australia, & SW Palau

Bright orange-red fish w/ white head bar/vertical stripe behind eyes, joined over head w/ distinctive black outline, females have more blackish while males have more red, juveniles darker red w/ 2-3 white bars, females larger than males

Algae, small shrimp, rotifers, planktonic copepods, planktonic fish eggs, crustacean larvae, zooplankton

Status in Wild:

Breeding in aquariums, aquaculture, & zoos

All clownfish born as males w/ most dominant clownfish becoming female. Colony ranges from 1 monogamous pair to monogamous pair w/ juveniles/subordinate males. When female dies, her mate becomes female & next male in hierarchy or new male becomes breeding partner. Juveniles sometimes found alone. Dominance determined by size.

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: Colony
Male: 3.2-4 oz
Female: 6.4-8 oz
6-11 days 

Life Span:
4-10 years

Body Length:
Male: 2 in
Female: 4 in

Main predators are larger fish, sharks, & eels.
Also called Tomato Anemonefish, Blackback Anemonefish, Bridled Anemonefish, Fire Clown, Red Tomato Clown, Onebar Anemonefish, & Red Clown. Often abbreviated as TC in aquarium trade.
Like other clownfish/anemonefish, well-known for mutualistic relationships w/ anemones. Sea anemone protects clownfish from predators as well as providing food through scraps left from anemone’s meal & dead anemone tentacles. In return, clownfish defend anemone fiercely from predators/intruding clownfish. Unlike many clownfish, they can thrive w/o host anemone & utilize coral host if anemone not available.
Sometimes mistaken for Australian Clownfish, Cinnamon Clownfish/Red-and-Black Anemonefish, & Red Saddleback Anemonefish.
Pairs/colonies extremely territorial, often fighting to the death w/ intruders. Females will especially fight to the death.
Maturity determined more by size than age.
Spawning occurs during full moon.
After hatching, fry drift for around 16 days in plankton-rich waters.
Clownfish only take anemones not filled by other clownfish.
Females release anything from 100-1,000 eggs.
Sometimes hybridize w/ Cinnamon & Fire Clownfish.

Fun Fact(s):
These highly territorial fish will even attack divers who come too close to their patch.
Females & dominant males produce chirps & pops while charging/chasing subordinates.
They’re fairly popular home aquarium fish.

1 thought on “Tomato Clownfish


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