The Disney Pixar movie, “Nemo” has popularized this small orange fish with white stripes, especially with children. However, clownfish are still unknown to the general public. If you want to know more about this adorable creature, follow the guide:
1. There are more than 28 species of clownfish
The Clownfish or Amphiprioninae belong to a subfamily of fish belonging to the family Pomacentridae. This one includes 28 species of which only one is classified in the genus Premnas while the others belong to the genus Amphiprion. They are fish of about ten centimeters in several different colors including yellow, black and brown. Some species have white bands or bars. The clownfish Percula is the most famous species with its bright orange color and white stripes.
2. Clownfish do not live in freshwater
They live in the warm waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea, and Australia’s coral reefs. During the winter season, they migrate to deeper and warmer waters. Only one of the species of clownfish, Botia macracantha is able to evolve in fresh water.
3. Clownfish are hermaphrodites
This means that they can be successively male or female. The clownfish is born male but has the ability to turn into a female. This can happen when the dominant female dies. The dominant male then becomes a female and then chooses to mate with another male in the group. However, once it has changed sex, this change is irreversible. .
4. Nemo: a disaster for the environment?
Indeed, after the release of the film “Nemo” in 2003, the number of clownfish living in captivity has increased considerably. Ironically, the message of the film was the preservation of species in the context of the protection of the environment!
5. The clownfish is omnivorous
Their diet consists mainly of algae, zooplankton, small crustaceans and worms. This regime varies according to the species and the area of habitation. In captivity, they consume flakes and pellets for fish as well as other foods of this type.
6. Relationship between clownfish and anemones
Clownfish and sea anemones have a symbiotic and mutualistic relationship; each bringing to the other a number of benefits. The sea anemone protects the clownfish from predators, while providing food in the form of leftovers after meals but also by the tentacles of dead anemones. In return, the clownfish defends the anemone against its predators and parasites. Wondering how toxic tentacles of sea anemones are not harmful to clownfish? It’s simple: a layer of mucus on its skin immunizes the clownfish against the bites of the anemone.
Female clownfish can lay up to 1,000 eggs during the full moon. The eggs are placed on the underwater rocks and the clownfish takes care of them until they hatch. The incubation lasts six to ten days and ends with the birth, two hours after dusk, of a considerable number of clownfish. Almost all fertilized eggs hatch and reach adulthood.
8. The best dad
The male is devoted to his family and prepares the nest for the mother so that she can lay eggs. It protects against possible predators and cleans the debris that accumulates there. The male spends his time gently blowing eggs to move them, making sure that each egg gets enough oxygen.
A little more to know:
– The life span of a clownfish is 10 years in the wild and 3 to 5 years in captivity.
– The clownfish gets its name from its bands that looks like a clown’s makeup.
– Of the 1000 species of anemones, only 10 of them host clownfish.
– Clownfish account for 40% of the trade in marine ornaments.
– A clownfish can not survive without its anemone.
– The clownfish Percula presents itself to the anemone by performing a dance.
Isn’t it charming?