Of the nearly 30 species of clownfish, there are two types commonly referred to as the orange clownfish (Amphiprion percula and A. ocellaris). The percula clownfish is distinguished by its vivid orange color with distinctive white bands outlined in black. This is one of the most popular fish for home saltwater aquarium hobbyists.
All clownfish are born male. As they mature, they usually pair off with another clownfish, and the dominant individual becomes a female. The female lays eggs, which are defended and aerated by both parents until they hatch.
This family of fish is also known as anemonefish because of the symbiotic relationship they have with sea anemones. The clownfish brings food to the anemone in exchange for protection. By building up a protective mucous coating, the clownfish is immune to the stinging cells of the anemone. The clownfish makes its home within the anemone’s tentacles, enjoying protection from predators; in return, the anemone gets to eat the leftovers from the clownfish’s meals and the clownfish helps keep the anemone clean.
Clownfish are usually a peaceful fish, but will sometimes fight with other clownfish species. They can also be very possessive of their anemones and will fight off other clownfish to maintain their “home.”
Clownfish are omnivores, feeding on a varied diet consisting of algae, zooplankton, worms, and small crustaceans. At the Aquarium, we feed them small, cut-up pieces of shrimp and smelt, as well as krill.
Clownfish grow to approximately 3 inches in length.
Clownfish can be found in coral reefs in Australia, Indonesia, Singapore, and the Solomon Islands.
This species is not considered to be threatened. A lot of the clownfish in aquariums and the pet trade are bred in captivity, so over-collecting is not an issue.
Larger fish, such as lionfish, snapper, grouper, triggers, and eels, will prey on clownfish.
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