Red and black anemonefish, Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Anemonefish

Natural History
Anemonefish, also called clownfish, live nestled among the tentacles of stinging anemones. Scientists have found that these fish have a special layer of mucus that keeps the anemones from stinging them.

Red and black anemonefish in bleaching anemone in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Red and black anemonefish in bleaching anemone in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Anemonefishes need the protection they find in their anemones: the anemones’ stings keep fish predators at bay, and an anemonefish never lives without its host anemone. The partnership may benefit the anemones, as well. They get scraps of food dropped by the anemonefishes as they eat. And the aggressive and territorial anemonefishes may defend their anemones by driving away butterflyfishes and other anemone-eating fishes.

Conservation
In places, unscrupulous collectors use cyanide, bleach and other chemicals to catch coral reef fishes for the pet trade. Applying the chemicals stuns the fishes and makes them easy to collect. But these poisons can also kill fishes, corals and other reef life. If you have a home aquarium, buy fishes raised in captivity, not ones collected from the wild.

Feeding Behavior (Ecology)

Host anemone species are typically Heteractis magnifica, Stichodactyla gigantea, and Stichodactyla mertensii. The anemonefish grooms its anemone host to keep it free of parasites and debris. There are conflicting reports about the protective relationship between anemonefish and their sticky hosts. One theory is that they chase off small creatures that prey on anemone, the other is that false clowns lure fish for the anemone to kill and eat. What is certain is that the rather clumsy anemonefish cannot live without their anemones. And without their clowns, some anemones are quickly destroyed by predators such as butterflyfish and sea turtles, which are immune to the anemone’s stings.

Red and black anemonefish in bleaching anemone in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Red and black anemonefish in bleaching anemone in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

This is only one example of symbiosis, where two animals benefit by their close association.

Marine ornamentals

Clownfish make up 43% of the global marine ornamental trade, and 25% of the global trade comes from fish bred in captivity, while the majority are captured from the wild, accounting for decreased densities in exploited areas. Public aquaria and captive breeding programs are essential to sustain their trade as marine ornamentals, and has recently become economically feasible.It is one of a handful of marine ornamentals whose complete life cycle has been closed in captivity. Members of some clownfish species, such as the maroon clownfish, become aggressive in captivity; others, like the false percula clownfish, can be kept successfully with other individuals of the same species.

Red and black anemonefish in bleaching anemone in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

Red and black anemonefish in bleaching anemone in the Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesia

When a sea anemone is not available in an aquarium, the clownfish may settle in some varieties of soft corals, or large polyp stony corals. Once an anemone or coral has been adopted, the clownfish will defend it. As there is less pressure to forage for food in an aquarium, it is common for clownfish to remain within 2-4 inches of their host for their entire lifetime. Clownfish, however, are not obligately tied to hosts, and can survive alone in captivity.

Red and black anemonefish, Lembeh Strait of North Sulawesi, Indonesiahttp://i2.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/BleachingAnemone_ROW13183285399_1366x768.jpg?fit=1024%2C1024http://i2.wp.com/plexusworld.com/wp-content/uploads/BleachingAnemone_ROW13183285399_1366x768.jpg?resize=150%2C150 angelsujimeena WorldWildLife,,,,,,,,,,,
Anemonefish Natural History Anemonefish, also called clownfish, live nestled among the tentacles of stinging anemones. Scientists have found that these fish have a special layer of mucus that keeps the anemones from stinging them. Anemonefishes need the protection they find in their anemones: the anemones' stings keep fish predators at bay, and...
<h2>Anemonefish</h2> <strong>Natural History</strong> Anemonefish, also called clownfish, live nestled among the tentacles of stinging anemones. Scientists have found that these fish have a special layer of mucus that keeps the anemones from stinging them. Anemonefishes need the protection they find in their anemones: the anemones' stings keep fish predators at bay, and an anemonefish never lives without its host anemone. The partnership may benefit the anemones, as well. They get scraps of food dropped by the anemonefishes as they eat. And the aggressive and territorial anemonefishes may defend their anemones by driving away butterflyfishes and other anemone-eating fishes. <strong>Conservation</strong> In places, unscrupulous collectors use cyanide, bleach and other chemicals to catch coral reef fishes for the pet trade. Applying the chemicals stuns the fishes and makes them easy to collect. But these poisons can also kill fishes, corals and other reef life. If you have a home aquarium, buy fishes raised in captivity, not ones collected from the wild. <strong>Feeding Behavior (Ecology)</strong> Host anemone species are typically Heteractis magnifica, Stichodactyla gigantea, and Stichodactyla mertensii. The anemonefish grooms its anemone host to keep it free of parasites and debris. There are conflicting reports about the protective relationship between anemonefish and their sticky hosts. One theory is that they chase off small creatures that prey on anemone, the other is that false clowns lure fish for the anemone to kill and eat. What is certain is that the rather clumsy anemonefish cannot live without their anemones. And without their clowns, some anemones are quickly destroyed by predators such as butterflyfish and sea turtles, which are immune to the anemone's stings. This is only one example of symbiosis, where two animals benefit by their close association. <strong>Marine ornamentals</strong> Clownfish make up 43% of the global marine ornamental trade, and 25% of the global trade comes from fish bred in captivity, while the majority are captured from the wild, accounting for decreased densities in exploited areas. Public aquaria and captive breeding programs are essential to sustain their trade as marine ornamentals, and has recently become economically feasible.It is one of a handful of marine ornamentals whose complete life cycle has been closed in captivity. Members of some clownfish species, such as the maroon clownfish, become aggressive in captivity; others, like the false percula clownfish, can be kept successfully with other individuals of the same species. When a sea anemone is not available in an aquarium, the clownfish may settle in some varieties of soft corals, or large polyp stony corals. Once an anemone or coral has been adopted, the clownfish will defend it. As there is less pressure to forage for food in an aquarium, it is common for clownfish to remain within 2-4 inches of their host for their entire lifetime. Clownfish, however, are not obligately tied to hosts, and can survive alone in captivity.