Simple Facts About Clown Fish

Clown fish is also called as anemone fish because it has a symbiotic relationship with anemones. There are different kinds of clownfishes; percula, ocellaris, maroon clownfish, clarkii also known as sebae, tomato clown fish, and etc.

Clownfish is a type of fish that lives in salt water. They are typically bright and colored orange. They have 3 stripes or bands which are usually found at the head, body, and tail. There are thin black lines around the stripes that appear to be missing and the tips of their fins are rounded with black bands.

Clown fish can grow for about 2 to 5 inches long depending on their kind. The maximum reported total length of the anemone fish is 4.3 inches (11 cm). In an aquarium tank, it is believed that it can live 3-5 years but in the wild they can live for about 6-10 years.

clown fish

The anemone provides protection for this fish as well as their nest. In return, the fish removes the fish and algae leftovers, increases its water circulation from fanning action of the fish fins. Clown fish is the only fish that is able to live on anemones. They have this slimy mucus covering which protects them from the sting of anemone tentacles. However, acclimation must occur before the fish will be immune to the stinging tentacles. This is achieved by swimming around the anemone and rubbing its ventral side and fins on the anemone tentacles.

Clown fish is a non-migratory species that lives in tropical, marine habitats associated with rocky or coral reefs. They usually live in pair at the bottom of the sea in sheltered reefs and shallow lagoons. The  live in warmer waters of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. These fish are found in the Indo-Malaysian region from the Ryukyu Islands, Japan throughout Southeast Asia to northwest Australia.

Their diet consists of  variety of prey items. This fish forages on algae, copepods, isopods, and zooplankton from anemone. The anemone fish eats the dead tentacles of the anemone and any uneaten prey that is captured by the stinging tentacles of the anemone.

Anemone fish are characterized by being protandrous hermaphrodites which means all of them while being young are males and then potentially into females later. Female anemone fish are significantly larger than the male one. The two of them reproduce by laying eggs and fertilizing them externally.

Before spawning occurs, the male fish will prepare and build a nest from a rock or coral close to the anemone to provide some protection from the predators. Males attract females by courting them by extending fins, chasing and biting. When the spawning begins, the male chases the female to the nest and then the female make several passes over the nest until she releases the eggs. The eggs are usually orange in color, 3-4mm in length and numbering from 100-1000 depending on the age of the female anemone fish. The male passes over the eggs to fertilize them. The male looks after the eggs, fanning them with his fins and eating any eggs that is damaged by fungus or unfertilized. Eggs usually hatch from 4-5 days.

There are only few predators of anemone fish because of its symbiotic relationship with the anemone but the eggs are susceptible to attack from other damselfishes, wrasses, and brittle stars.

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