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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrata > fishes > Family Pomacentridae > Genus Amphiprion
Tomato anemonefish
Amphiprion frenatus

Family Pomacentridae
updated Oct 2016
Where seen? This beautiful anemonefish with a white 'head band' is not as commonly seen. It lives in the Bubble tip sea anemone (Entacmaea quadricolor) which is not very commonly encountered, usually on good reefs on our Southern shores.

Features: 5-14cm. Red to black with one black-edged white bar just behind the eyes. There may be a second black-edged white bar in the middle of the body. Juveniles are usually red and may have 2-3 narrow white bars. Females have blackish sides while males are a lot smaller and lack the blackish colour being mostly red overall.

What does it eat? It feeds on plankton (mostly copepods) and also munches on bottom-dwelling algae.

Human uses: Unfortunately, these fishes are taken in large numbers from the wild for the aquarium trade. The harvest may involve the use of cyanide or blasting, which damage the habitat and kill many other creatures. Like other fish and creatures harvested from the wild, most die before they can reach the retailers. Without professional care, most die soon after they are sold. Often of starvation as owners are unable to provide the small creatures and plants that these fishes need to survive. In artificial conditions, many succumb to diseases and poor health. Those that do survive are unlikely to breed.

There have been some success in breeding anemonefish for the aquarium trade. Although captive bred anemonefish are hardier, they are more expensive. Harvesting from the wild will probably continue so long as there are unscrupulous traders and aquarists.

Status and threats: The Tomato anemonefish is listed as 'Vulnerable' on the Red List of threatened animals of Singapore. Like other creatures of the intertidal zone, they are affected by human activities such as reclamation and pollution. Over-collection can also have an impact on local populations. According to the Singapore Red Data Book, "habitat protection and strict policing against illegal collection are required" to conserve our anemonefishes.

Pulau Semakau, Aug 08

Kusu Island, Aug 04

Terumbu Raya, Jul 09
Photo shared by James Koh on his blog.

Pulau Jong, May 16 (seen diving)

Photo shared by Tay Ywee Chieh on facebook.

Eggs laid near the host sea anemone.

Terumbu Raya, Jun 15

Photo shared by Toh Chay Hoon on facebook.

Tomato anemonefishes on Singapore shores

Photos of Tomato anemonefishes for free download from wildsingapore flickr

Distribution in Singapore on this wildsingapore flickr map

Tanah Merah, Jul 09
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Tanah Merah, Jun 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

St John's Island, Apr 16

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Pulau Hantu, Jul 07

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his blog.

Terumbu Hantu, Apr 12
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Terumbu Semakau, May 10
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr.

Beting Bemban Besar, Jun 15
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Pulau Senang, Jun 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr .

Pulau Senang, Aug 10

Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on his flickr .



  • Toh Chay Hoon. 26 September 2014. Tomato anemonefish off Lazarus-Seringat Island. Singapore Biodiversity Records 2014: 265.
  • Davison, G.W. H. and P. K. L. Ng and Ho Hua Chew, 2008. The Singapore Red Data Book: Threatened plants and animals of Singapore. Nature Society (Singapore). 285 pp.
  • Allen, Gerry, 2000. Marine Fishes of South-East Asia: A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Periplus Editions. 292 pp.
  • Lieske, Ewald and Robert Myers. 2001. Coral Reef Fishes of the World Periplus Editions. 400pp.
  • Lim, S., P. Ng, L. Tan, & W. Y. Chin, 1994. Rhythm of the Sea: The Life and Times of Labrador Beach. Division of Biology, School of Science, Nanyang Technological University & Department of Zoology, the National University of Singapore. 160 pp.
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