Marine life in Bali, clownfish
Clownfish. 8 fun facts
1. It belongs to the subfamily amphiprioninae and there are 30 different species
Anemonefish live on the reefs in the Indian and Pacific Oceans. It also lives at the Red Sea and the Great Barrier Reef of Australia. But we cannot see them in the Atlantic Ocean or in the Caribbean Sea.
Video by Ludovic Amevor
2. Many clownfish live in sea anemones, with which they maintain a symbiotic relationship
It is for this reason that it is also known as anemonefish, and in fact, all those belonging to this subfamily are so-called.
Anemones are predatory animals that anchor at the bottom of the sea. They feed on fish which paralyzes with a powerful poison that it injects into the prey if the slightest friction occurs with any of its tentacles.
Anemonefish perform an elaborate dance with an anemone before taking up residence. They gently touch their tentacles with different parts of their bodies until they are acclimated to their host. At the same time, clownfish develop an immunity to the anemone toxin.
In addition, thanks to the clownfish swimming, the tentacles of the anemone get the oxygen it needs.
Now, if for any reason an injury or detachment of the protective mucosa of the clownfish occurs, this, like any other animal, would be poisoned on contact with the anemone and die irremediably.
This relationship established by the clownfish and anemones is not a relationship of dependency since both can live without each other. In other words, the clownfish would not die without the presence of anemones or vice versa, but the life of these two marine species together is much easier.
3. Clownfish is omnivorous
They normally feed on algae, small mollusks, crustaceans, plankton, and smaller fish as well.
When juveniles, they usually stay within the shelter of the anemone host. As they grow larger, they will seek out food, though they don’t venture much more than a few meters from their home.
4. Anemonefish live in groups led by a dominant female
Clownfish usually has a length that varies between 9 and 11 centimetres.
The dominant female is the largest one. The second-largest fish is the dominant male, while all other fish in the group are smaller males.
5. Clownfish is hermaphrodite
This happens when the female dies. Then the dominant male will become a female to replace her. At the same time, the largest of the smallest males will become the dominant male in the group.
6. All anemonefish are monogamous.
When the female is about to spawn, the male searches for a flat surface near the anemone to prepare the nest. The male constantly cleans the area while the female repeatedly checks that the nest is indeed clean.
Before spawning, the male courts the female. It does so by extending its fins while chasing the female. The female makes several passes over the nest, and when the time comes, she lays the eggs.
The male then passes over the nest releasing sperm to fertilize the eggs and the female returns to the anemone.
It is the male who takes care of the eggs while they develop, which can last between 6 to 8 days. The male continuously cleans the eggs and even eats the eggs that have not been fertilized or have been damaged.
At birth, clownfish are small, almost transparent larvae. From the first moment, they are independent. They will spend the first days of life floating adrift until they find their own anemone to live in.
7. Nemo effect
Furthermore, due to global warming and acidification of the waters, many reefs where clownfish live are being lost. This has caused a great decrease in the number of these fish.
8. Where can we dive in Bali with clownfish?
Would you like to dive with us? We are waiting for you!