Clown fish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

Symbiosis - Clownfish and Sea Anemone by Laura Lacroix on Prezi

clown fish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

Yet at no point while watching this movie did I ask myself, "What sort of relationship does Nemo the Clownfish and this Sea Anemone share?. [1]Clownfish are among the few species of fish that can avoid the potent poison of a sea anemone. These two species have a symbiotic, mutualistic relationship. Clownfish live in a "symbiotic" relationship with certain anemones. This means they benefit from living with the sea anemone, and the sea anemone benefits.

Many people put the fish in a tank with the wrong anemone. In captivity, the clownfish can live from 3 to 5 years. In the wild, they live 6 to 10 years.

Sea Anemone and Clownfish relationship Commensalism

Symbiosis describes the special relationship between clownfish and sea anemones. They are the only fish that do not get stung by the tentacles of the sea anemone. Clownfish have a slimy mucus covering that protects them from the sea anemone. However, if this covering is wiped off of a clownfish, it will get stung and possibly be killed when it returns home to the anemone.

The clownfish and the sea anemone help each other survive in the ocean. The clownfish, while being provided with food, cleans away fish and algae leftovers from the anemone. In addition, the sea anemones are given better water circulation because the clownfish fan their fins while swimming about.

Clownfish live at the bottom of the sea in sheltered reefs or in shallow lagoons, usually in pairs. Clownfish have a special relationship with the anemone and are very important to them. They are a large help to the anemone as they clean the anemone by eating the algae and other food leftovers on them.

They also protect the sea anemones by chasing away polyp-eating fish, such as the butterfly fish.


The map below shows where in the world clownfish can be found. They live in the warmer waters of the Pacific Ocean and Indian Ocean. There are no clownfish in the Caribbean. What is the Life Cycle of the Clownfish? The average size of Clownfish is three inches and most are brightly colored with white stripes on the head or side of the body. Sea Anemone Sea anemones are marine animals in the Cnidaria phylum. These sea creatures are often mistaken as marine plants or flowers.

The body is composed of a columnar structure, with one end of the column attacked to a substrate, and the other end houses the mouth and tentacle structures or nematocysts, a type of cnidae. The cnidae or nematocysts contain stinging cells that paralyze the prey. Sea anemones do not actively seek food instead they are opportunistic feeders, meaning they wait for passing prey.

They are found in coastal regions throughout the world, but mainly in warm temperate regions.

clown fish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

What is Sea Anemone and Clownfish Relationship? Clownfish perform an elaborate dance with an anemone before taking up residence, gently touching its tentacles with different parts of their bodies until they are acclimated to their host.

In exchange for safety from predators and food scraps, the clownfish drives off intruders and preens its host, removing parasites. Clownfish and Sea Anemone Commensalism or Mutualism? Commensalism is a symbiotic relationship where one species provides protection for another less mobile or more vulnerable species. The relationship between Clownfish and anemones is a well-known example of commensalism.

And in mutualism the clownfish live in the stinging tentacles of sea anemones. They are the first known fishes to breed in captivity. The average life span is of years but in captivity they live up to years. They show a special association with the sea anemone. The activity of these fishes result in greater amount of water circulation around the sea anemone and sea anemone provides them protection from its toxins.

clown fish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

Clownfish depends on the sea anemone for its daily food. When anemone paralyzes a fish and consumes it these fish eat the chunks and pieces left after the feeding of the anemone.

clown fish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

The fish also keeps the anemone free by eating up its dead tentacles and act as a lure by attracting predators towards itself by its bright colouration. This sort of symbiotic association of the clownfish with the sea anemone makes them the most astonishing creatures living under water. They are known bred in captivity in the marine ornamental farms in USA. If the anemone of the aquarium dies they tend to live in the soft varieties of corals.

Clownfish Biology

The corals may agitate the skin of these fishes and in some cases may kill the corals also. Once they get confined in the corals they defend it. We can conclude that they are amazing fishes showing unique features. Navodita Maurice Article Source: