Also known as the Allard’s anemonefish or two-bar anemonefish, the Allard’s clownfish is a tropical species found exclusively in the Western Indian Ocean. Aliwal Shoal represents the most southerly boundary of its range, and like all clownfish, it is immune to
the sting of the anemone species in which it lives. The clownfish protects the anemone from predators and parasites, and in return, the anemone offers the clownfish a very effective sanctuary. Allard’s clownfish are territorial and can be aggressive towards divers. They reach a maximum length of 15 centimetres, and are dark brown or black with two vertical white bars. Their tail fin is white, while their face and all other fins are orange. Male Allard’s clownfish guard their eggs, which adhere to the base of the anemone.
Found throughout the Indian Ocean, the skunk clownfish is sometimes referred to as the nosestripe clownfish. It gets its name from the narrow white stripe that runs the length of its dorsal ridge from nose to tail. The rest of the clownfish is
peachy-orange in colour, and the largest of the species can reach 11 centimetres in length. Skunk clownfish live inside anemones, and defend their territory with a series of pops and chirps. In each anemone, there is a mating male and female, and several smaller non-mating males. If the female dies, the alpha male changes sex, and the largest of the non-mating males becomes sexually active. The sex change takes less than 63 days. Skunk clownfish favour shallow reefs in areas of moderate to strong current.