Barrier Reef Anemonefish, Amphiprion akindynos Allen 1972

Other Names: Brown Anemonefish, Guarded Anemone Fish, Two-banded Anemonefish, Two-banded Anemone-fish

A Barrier Reef Anemonefish, Amphiprion akindynos, at East Diamond Islet in the Coral Sea, November 2016. Source: Ian Shaw / License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial


An orange to orange-brown anemonefish with two black-edged white bars of similar width on the body, a white tail and tail base, and a pale snout. Juveniles have a large dark patch on the caudal fin, a yellow snout, and yellow pectoral, pelvic and anal fins.

The Barrier Reef Anemonefish lives in close association with several anemone host species.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Amphiprion akindynos in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Dec 2022,

Barrier Reef Anemonefish, Amphiprion akindynos Allen 1972

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland and reefs in the Coral Sea, to at least Broughton Island, New South Wales. Elsewhere the species occurs in the Western Pacific, including New Caledonia and the Loyalty Islands.
Inhabits lagoons and outer reefs, and is commensal with a number of sea anemone species (Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractis aurora, H. crispa, H. magnifica, Stichodactyla haddoni and S. mertensii).


Dorsal-fin X-XI, 14-17; Anal fin II, 13-14.


An orange to orange-brown anemonefish with two black-edged white bars on the body; the first bar crossing the top of the head and extending down the gill cover just behind the eye, the second running from the middle of the dorsal fin to the lower belly. Caudal peduncle and caudal fin white.


Anemonefishes form pairs during the breeding season. Following courtship, females spawn their adhesive eggs onto a prepared nest area on a hard substrate. The eggs take about a week to hatch and during this time the males in particular guard and aerate the eggs.

Lives in association with a range of anemone species, including Entacmaea quadricolor, Heteractis aurora, H. crispa, H. magnifica, Stichodactyla haddoni and S. mertensii.


The Barrier Reef Anemonefish has been reared in captivity and is traded in the aquarium industry.


The species name akindynos is from the Greek and means 'safe' or 'without danger' in reference to the safety afforded amongst the tentacles of its host anemone.

Species Citation

Amphiprion akindynos Allen, 1972, Anemonefishes, their Classification and Biology: 153, figs. 76-80.Type locality: One Tree Island, Capricorn Group, Queensland, 0-15 feet.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Barrier Reef Anemonefish, Amphiprion akindynos Allen 1972


Allen, G.R. 1972. Anemonefishes, their Classification and Biology. Neptune CityNew Jersey : T.F.H. Publications 288 pp., 140 figs.

Allen, G.R. 1991. Damselfishes of the World. Melle, Germany : Mergus Verlag 271 pp.

Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G. R. 2001. Family Pomacentridae. pp. in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds).The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Bay, L.K. 2005. The population genetic structure of coral reef fishes on the Great Barrier Reef, Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University.

Bay, L.K. & Caley, J.M. 2011. Greater genetic diversity in spatially restricted coral reef fishes suggests secondary contact among differentiated lineages. Diversity 3: 483-502.

Bay, L.K., Buechler, K., Gagliano, M. & Caley, J.M. 2006. Intraspecific variation in the pelagic larval duration of tropical reef fishes. Journal of Fish Biology 68: 1206-1214.

Buechler, K. 2005. An evaluation of geographic variation in the life history and behaviour of anemonefishes: a common-garden approach, Ph.D. thesis, James Cook University.

Coleman, N. 1974. Australian Marine Fishes in Colour. Sydney : A.H. & A.W. Reid 108 pp.

Fautin, D.G. 1984. Competition by anemonefishes for a preferred host actinian. American Zoologist 24(3): 543. 

Fautin, D.G. 1985. Why do anemonefishes inhabit only some host actinians? Proceedings of the Fifth International Coral Reef Congress, Tahiti 5: 373-377.

Fautin, D.G. & Allen, G.R. 1992. Field Guide to Anemonefishes and their Host Sea Anemones. Perth : Western Australian Museum 160 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

Jenkins, A., Carpenter, K.E., Allen, G., Yeeting, B. & Myers, R. 2017. Amphiprion akindynos. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2017: e.T188552A1891834. Downloaded on 21 May 2018.

Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3)

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 1997. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers I-xvii, 434 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. 437 pp.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Thresher, R.E., P.L. Colin & L.J. Bell.1989. Planktonic duration, distribution and population structure of western and central Pacific damselfishes (Pomacentridae). Copeia 1989(2): 420-434.

van der Meer, M.H., M.G. Gardner, J.-P.A. Hobbs, G.P. Jones & L. van Herwerden. 2011. Identification of seventeen microsatellite markers for conservation genetic studies of the endemic anemonefish, Amphiprion mccullochi. Conservation Genetics Resources, doi: 10.1007/s12686-011-9517-1.

van der Meer, M.H., Jones, G.P., Hobbs, J.-P. A. & Van Herwerden, L. 2012. Historic hybridization and introgression between two iconic Australian anemonefish and contemporary patterns of population connectivity. Ecology and Evolution 2(7): 1592-1604. PDF

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372020


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-25 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated, with anemones

Max Size:12 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map