Like the sergeantfish, the puller, aka as chromis and the damselfish, the anemonefish species is a member of the family of the Pomacentridae. This family is well-represented in the subtropical waters of the Red Sea and boasts ten species that are endemic to the Red Sea. The intriguing anemonefish or clownfish, or Nemo for cinema enthusiasts and Walt Disney addicts, is your Red Sea ‘poster reef fish’ and deserves special praise.

The adorable Red Sea anemonefish lives in harmony and in symbiosis with anemones, at depths of up to 30 meters. It seeks 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.

Family Members

Red Sea Anemonefish

Size up to 12cm  ( 0,39ft). Depth up to  30m (98,4ft)

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 cells and ‘chemical signature’ by its own mucus. Large anemones can be host to a pair of anemonefish, accompanied by small juveniles. The anemonefish species does not hesitate to attack ‘intruders’ like fish and even divers if it senses they come to close for their comfort to the anemone they live with.

The clownfish starts life as a male and eventually turns female. In scientific terms we call this protandrous hermaphrodites. Sex and growth are controlled by the dominant female. In the event of lacking females. In the event of shortage of females, the largest male will transform into a female. The diurnal and omnivorous anemonefish finds zooplankton pretty pleasing to the palette and has a specific liking for filamentous algae and copepods.