Common name: Orange Clownfish. Scientific name: Amphiprion percula. Family: Pomacentridae. (Image c/o our social media manager come scuba dive master)
Orange Clownfish: As far as fish go they’re not a bag of laughs or good eatin’. But they are seriously cute, sexual chameleons and a big fish for Queensland tourism.
Clownfish have been hanging out in their anemone for many years, but swam to popularity following the 2003 Pixar flick Finding Nemo. Since then, tourism operators around North Queensland have taken to calling our cute friends “Nemos” as opposed to clownfish, anemonefish or the more scientific Amphiprion percula.
Clownfish live in warm waters, like coral reefs off Northern Australia, so they like to breed all year round. Clownfish like us to think they live in their anemone for protection, but I suspect that amongst those googly appendages it gets hot and heavy. Not only with raunchy breeding rituals, but with this male and female and male again sex change business to keep their numbers even.
For this hardcore Pixar fan turned scuba diver, I was amazed to discover that the anenomefish come in all different sizes and colour palettes other than the stock standard orange. ‘Orange’ clownfish seem quite reserved compared with other clownfish species like skunk, tomato and fire.