• Richard Aspinall

Amphiprion bicinctus: my favourite Clownfish subject


Everyone loves their first; their first car, their first time away from their folks, first... and a whole range of other firsts we shouldn't mention here. Amphiprion bicinctus was the first clown I ever saw in the wild, and the first I ever photographed. I've yet to fall out of love with these characterful fish.

Most commonly seen in the tentacles of Entacmaea and Heteractis species anemones this a classic Red Sea fish, though it is found in the Gulf of Aden and down to the Chagos Archipelago.


Stichodactyla haddoni also hosts A. bicinctus but in my experience is a rarer anemone.


I've photographed several clownfish species, but this one is such a great performer due, in the main to its confident nature. A. bicinctus will, as you approach its host, hunker down and keep on staring back out at you, allowing you to get very close for portraits.

With some species you end up chasing them around the 'nem, but not the good 'ol Two-banded.



Red anemones are particularly sought after my photographers. In the shot above I used a wide-angle lens to show the fish and anemone in context.



Brown, H. crispa anemones are common and if you look carefully, sometimes you find eggs.

The fish shows quite a bit of colour variation, with the older specimens generally showing a great deal browner.



This pair, on a shipwreck (SS Carnatic) are particularly striking.



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  • Kelso, Scottish Borders
© Richard Aspinall 2020
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