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Clownfish

Amphiprion ocellaris

Fast Facts

  • Clownfish are a type of anemonefish, though they are not automatically immune to anemone stings.
  • Clownfish are all born males but can change into a female when necessary.
  • Females control males and thus control the creation of other females.

range

Range

Indo-Pacific region

Habitat

Shallow, calm lagoons and coral reefs

Size

Up to 4.5 inches

Nutrition

Zooplankton, copepods, and algae


Characteristics


This fish is normally bright orange with three white vertical stripes, the middle one with a forward-projecting bulge. These stripes have narrow, black borders. Their fins are rounded and black-tipped. Males remain smaller and thinner than females.

Behavior


Clownfish, like other anemonefishes, live in and around sea anemones. They are protected from the sting of the anemone by their mucus, but there is a period of acclimatization that must occur before the fish is immune to the anemone sting.

Reproduction


Clownfish males monitor and protect their eggs from predators. The eggs hatch eight days after they are fertilized, usually about an hour after it gets dark in order to increase the survival chances. The babies are called ‘fry’ and will eat baby brine shrimp several times a day to grow and mature.

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