Orange Anemonefish, Amphiprion sandaracinos Allen 1972

Other Names: Eastern Skunk Anemonefish, Golden Anemonefish, Golden Angelfish, Orange Skunk Clownfish, Skunk Anemonefish, Yellow Clownfish, Yellow Skunk Clownfish

An Orange Anemonefish, Amphiprion sandaracinos, at Moalboal, Basdiot, Central Visayas, Philippines. Source: Klaus Stiefel / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial

A uniform pale orange to yellowish-orange anemonefish with a white stripe beginning on the upper lip and running along the back to the caudal-fin base.
Video of Orange Anemonefish in an aquarium.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2016, Amphiprion sandaracinos in Fishes of Australia, accessed 23 Jul 2024,

Orange Anemonefish, Amphiprion sandaracinos Allen 1972

More Info


Known from Western Australia (Ningaloo Reef and WA offshore reefs, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the Orange Anemonefish occurs in the tropical East-Indo-West Pacific, from Papua New Guinea, Indonesia, Melanesia, the Philippines and north to southern Japan.

The Orange Anemonefish inhabits coral reef lagoons and outer reefs in depths of 3-20 m. The species usually lives in association with the host anemone Stichodactyla mertensii, although it is also found with Heteractis crispa. An adult pair and several juveniles usually live in association with a single anemone.


Anemonefish are protandrous hermaphrodites, and individuals are capable of changing sex from male to female. Orange Anemonefish live in small groups with a dominant pair and a number of juveniles. The dominant female lays her eggs in a nest area prepared by the dominant male. He guards and aerates the eggs until the larvae hatch.


Orange anemonefish, along with their host anemones are collected for the aquarium trade, and the anemonefish has been bred in captivity. The species is also threatened in parts of its range by habitat degradation.

Similar Species

The Pink Anemonefish, Amphiprion perideraion, differs in having a narrow white band on the side of the head behind the eye. The paler Amphiprion akallopisos (not found in the Australian EEZ) is very similar, but the stripe along the back is narrower, and does not begin on the upper lip. 

Species Citation

Amphiprion sandaracinos Allen 1972, Anemonefishes, their Classification and Biology: 81. Type locality: Pagbilao Island, Luzon, Philippines. 


Bray, D.J. 2016


Australian Faunal Directory

Orange Anemonefish, Amphiprion sandaracinos 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.

Allen, G.R., Drew, J. & Fenner, D. 2010. Amphiprion pacificus, a new species of anemonefish (Pomacentridae) from Fiji, Tonga, Samoa, and Wallis Island. Aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 16(3): 129-138.

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1979. The Fishes of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Aust. Natl. Parks Wldlf. Ser. Spec. Publ. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service 81 pp. 15 pls.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C.& Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2, 284 pp.

Bos, A.R. 2011. Clownfishes Amphiprion clarkii and A. sandaracinos (Pomacentridae) coexist in the sea anemone Stichodactyla mertensii. Coral Reefs 30(2): 369.

Curtis-Quick, J. 2010. Amphiprion sandaracinos. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. . Downloaded on 24 October 2012.

Fautin, D.G. & Allen, G.R. 1992. Field guide to anemonefishes and their host sea anemones. Western Australian Museum, Perth.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

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. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae and Callionymidae. Zoonetics, Australia, pp. 304-622.

Moe, A.M. Jr. 1992. The marine aquarium handbook. Beginner to breeder. Green Turtle Publication, Florida, USA.

Moyer, J.T. & Nakazono, A. 1978. Protandrous hermaphroditism in six species of the anemonefish genus Amphiprion in Japan. Japanese Journal of Ichthyology 25(2): 101-106.

Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian reef fishes: a comprehensive guide to the coral reef fishes of Micronesia. Coral Graphics, Barrigada, Guam.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37372029

Behaviour:Lives with anemones

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-20 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map