Amphiprion percula, originating in the Indian Ocean and the Great Barrier Reef, is found in the North of Queensland to Malaysia, including New Guinea, New Britain, New Ireland, Solomon Island and Vanuatu.
In its natural habitat, it lives in marine waters at depths of 1-12 meters. In conclusion, clown fish is a saltwater fish, which, due to its characteristic color, is among the preferences of aquarists.
It is also known as Nemo, Anemone Fish or Arlechin Fish.
Like all anemone fish, clown fish creates symbiotic ties with sea anemones. He uses his host both as a shelter and to protect himself from predators, and instead, the clown fish removes the intruders and toilets the host, removing the parasites.
Clown Fish’s Food
Clown fish is omnivorous, so they eat both meat and vegetal. In its natural environment, clown fish get their food almost entirely cooperating with its host, anemone.
The clown fish leaves the secure space provided by the anemone thistles, heading for the neighboring reef. Its bright color attracts bigger fish, who, tempted by the desire to nourish, follow him to the anemone where they are starved by one of his tentacles.
Later, anemone consumes fish. Clown fish consumes the remains that remain after feeding the anemone, crustaceans, worms and algae that make up the plankton (phytoplankton).
When raised in captivity, in aquariums, clown fish can be fed with flakes, granules specially formulated for this type of fish and sometimes with raw meat. Food will be given in small quantities and in 2-3 shrimps.
Clown Fish Appearance
The clown fish has a characteristic coloring on its body, distinguishing three vertical bands of white, bordered by black lines on an intense orange background for the rest of the body.
The first band is found behind the eyes, the second one divides the fish into two, and the third is located close to the codal swing. The free edges of the swimmers are also outlined in black.
In fact, there is a diversity of cloned subspecies, the one previously described being the most common. Clown fish are found in different color shades and patterns, specific are the three white strips.
There are no obvious differences in coloring between the male and female, but the female is larger compared to the male. The clown fish can reach maturity up to 7-11 cm in length.
Clown Fish’s Features
Before clown fish become anemone residents, they perform a dance around them, easily touching their tentacles with different parts of their body until they become familiar with the host.
The presence of a layer of mucus located on the skin surface of the clown fish makes them immune to the lethal stumps of the anemone. If the clown fish is no longer protected by this layer of mucus, it can always become a prey for the anemone.
Clown Fish Reproduction
The clown fish are mating throughout the year. The woman gives birth to a single animal in about 100-1000 descendants. Pairs formed for breeding are monogamous. After the female is laying eggs, the male comes to fertilize them.
After a 6-7 day incubation, clown eggs are apt to hatch. Even before hatching, the embryo is visible through the transparency of the egg membrane.
After hatching, the larva has a length of 3-4 mm and is almost transparent except for the eyes, the vitelin bag and the presence of some pigments. The newly hatched individuals initially fall on the bottom of the sea, but shortly afterwards they are able to swim to the superficial water layers by a process called phototaxis.
From this moment, the larva spends about a week floating along the plankton and is transported passively by ocean currents. The larval stage ends when young clown fish settle on the bottom of the sea, about 8-12 days after hatching.
Complete metamorphosis from the larval to the young stage occurs generally within a day. Youth is characterized by a rapid development of color.
The transition from youth to adulthood is dependent on the social hierarchy in the family group. Thus, each anemone is populated by a pair of clown fish and 2-3 smaller fish. The aggression phenomenon between the dominant female and her partner is minimal.
Each male tries to intimidate and drive away the next smaller male as long as the most miserable of them is removed from the group. Consequently, the energy that could have been used for development is used to resist the resistance of competitive attacks. Adult pair is the main role in stopping the development of youth.
As with other anemone fish, adult clown fish are metamorphosis from male to female (hermaphroditism). All anemone fish are born as males, and the largest member of the group changes sex into a dominant female, the phenomenon being irreversible.
Subsequently, the next male, the largest, becomes the dominant male. In conclusion, when the dominant female of the group dies, the dominant male changes sex into a female, and the other males subordinate to the dominant male ascend the hierarchical ladder.
Compatible species: fish species that are compatible with the living conditions of the clown fish, especially the anemone. Clown fish can be slightly aggressive with other fish. The average life expectancy of the clown fish is 6-10 years, some of them living up to 18 years.