Clownfish are also known as anemone fish and have many interesting features other than starring in the film “Finding Nemo”!
- Clown fish are a sub family made up of 28 different species. Nemo is a false clownfish or a clown anemonefish. True anemonefish/orange clownfish look very similar but live in different habitats.
- Their most distinctive traits are their orange bodies, three white bands with a black outline and black tips around the fins.
- They are small animals. Their bodies reach up to 11cm long on average.
- Clown fish are hermaphrodites. This means that they can be male and female.
- A clownfish is born male and has the ability to change into a female. This can happen when the dominant female dies, the dominant male will turn into a female and then choose to mate with another male in the group. However, once they change they cannot turn back.
- They are omnivores, meaning they eat both plants and animals. Their diet consists mainly of algae, zooplankton (tiny animals that live in water) and small crustaceans.
- Clownfish are found in coral reefs off the coast of Australia and South Asia.
- Clownfish have a symbiotic relationship (a relationship that benefits both species) with sea anemones (a sessile predator animal). Clownfish bodies have a mucus layer which is immune to the toxins the anemone produces to capture prey. The anemone provides shelter from predators and the clownfish returns the favour by removing parasites and driving away intruders.
- Unfortunately, due to the increased popularity of “Finding Nemo”, the number of captive clownfish kept in tanks has increased despite the film’s message about the damage caused by capturing clownfish.
- Type: Fish
- Diet: Omnivore
- Life span: 3-6 years
- Size: average 11cm long
- Weight: 250g
- Habitat: Coral reefs
- Range: Coastal Australia and South Asia
- Scientific name: Amphiprion percula
Clancy's comment: Extraordinary facts, but a fairly poor name for these cute fish. After all, they have become famous in Hollywood. That's more than I can say.