You are here


Submitted by mtracy on Wed, 12/05/2018 - 15:32

Amphiprioninae includes the clownfish. There are roughly 128 species of these fish. Clownfish are generally very colorful and many live as commensals to sea anemones. Usually anemones use their stining cells to sting whatever swims into them. Generally this occurs with small fish, which it proceeds to eat after making contact. There are several hypotheses as to why clownfish can safetly live in sea anemones. One idea is that the slime which covers the clownfish essentially makes it invisible to the anenome. Another assumes the anenome recognizes the clownfish's movements, and thus knowns it is not dangerous and will not sting it. Lastly, it is possible that the anenome gradually learns about the clownfish, as generally clownfish have a little harder of a time when young, so over time the anenome may learn to "accept" them. These hypotheses attribute somewhat human aspects to the organisms however. Regardless, the clownfish lives among the anenome and will clean a portion of the coral at its base, where it will lay its eggs. The after hatching, the young float up into the water column and will eventually find a new anenome to call its home.