Anemonefish / Clownfish

Anemonefish / Clownfish

Like the sergeant fish, the puller, aka as chromis and the damselfish, the anemone fish is a member of the family of the Pomacentridae.This family is well-represented in the subtropical waters of the Red Sea andboasts ten species that are endemic to the Red Sea. The intriguing anemonefishor clownfish, or Nemo for cinema enthusiasts and Disney addicts, is your RedSea ‘poster reef fish’ and deserves special praise. As cute as it appears, it does not hesitate to attack fish and sometimes even divers who dare to come tooclose for their comfort.

 

The clownfish is able to live unharmed among the urticating tentacles of the sea anemone. The adorable Red Sea anemone fish lives in harmony and in symbiosis with anemones, seeking shelter in its tentacles. There mutualistic and reciprocal relationship is like a twinned pairing between anemone and the Red Sea clownfish. Their bond is truly  a classic case of symbiosis. The anemone and the clownfish, albeit two organisms, live in close beneficial harmony. The essence of their interacting lies in the tentacles of the anemone protecting the clownfish from predators. In turn, the clownfish’s movements within the tentacles of the anemone, causes water circulating and hence increases oxygen flow. It has also been suggested that the anemone feeds on the fish's waste material.


The clownfish measures up to 12cm  and appears at depths up to 30 meters. The clownfish, its bi-coloured, oval and regularly shaped body dominated by white and orange, couldn't survive without an anemone host. It is always protected from its host’s stinging cellsand ‘chemical signature’ by its own mucus. Large anemones can be host to a pair of anemone fish, accompanied by small juveniles. The clownfish starts life as a male and eventually turns female. In scientific terms we call this prot and roushermaphrodites. In the event of lacking females, the largest male will transform. The diurnal and omnivorous anemone fish finds zooplankton pretty pleasing to the palette and has a specific liking for filamentous algae and copepods.