10 Cool Facts About Clown Fish
Clown fish, probably one of the most iconic tropical fish divers can find while scuba diving the coral reefs of Bali. These cute and colorful animals can be found in pretty much every dive site in Bali, it is actually quite guaranteed that whether you will be diving or snorkeling in Tulamben, Nusa Penida or Padangbai you will have the chance of crossing your path with these stunning looking creatures.
La Manta Diving Bali compiled for you a list of cool clown fish facts that you probably did't know about and that will help you to learn more about this awesome animal.
Clown Fish Facts
Clown fish, also known as anemone fish, belong to the subfamily Amphiprioninae in the family Pomacentridae and they differentiate into 30 different species.
They can be found in the warm water of the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. Our dive center is based in the Indian Ocean, this is why is so common to spot them while scuba diving and snorkeling in Bali.
Clown fish have small bodies which range between 5 to 15 centimeters. They have beautiful bright colors and depending on the species they belong to they can be orange, yellow, pinkish, reddish or blackish and many also have white stripes or patches.
They can be found living on the sea anemones, as they form a symbiotic, mutualistic relationship with this animal, this means that they both have mutual benefit of living together: clown fish can feed on the anemone's food leftovers and use their venomous tentacles for protection from predators and parasites, in return anemones use clown fish for overall cleaning and for the great water circulation they provide while swimming.
There are 2 different theories that explain how the clown fish are immune to the anemone's poison: the first one says that the mucus covering the fish gives them protection from the poison while the second is more focused on the coevolution of the 2 species.
Anemone fish are omnivorous and beside feeding on the anemone's leftover and dead tentacles they also like to eat algae and plankton in the water column.
Clown fish live in small family groups, with a mating couple and their offspring, in the group there is only one female that can be recognized as she is the biggest member of the group.
The female clown fish can lay hundreds to thousands of eggs depending on the species, is the male duty to then take care of the eggs increasing the water flow near them to improve oxygenation. When the eggs hatch all the newborn clown fish are born as males, when the female of the group dies the dominant male will undergo a sex change and turn into female.
Clown fish are very territorial animals and, despite their cuteness, can be very aggressive animals. Is not uncommon to see while diving in Bali clown fish attacking divers that get too close to their territory, fortunately their tiny size makes them completely harmless.
In their natural habitat clown fish can live up to 10 years. Unfortunately after the Disney movie "Finding Nemo", they became very popular fish for aquarium and fish collectors have been taking them from their natural home to sell them to aquarium enthusiasts, if kept in captivity their life spam decreases to only 2 to 5 years. Luckily, despite this, clown fish population is stable and they are not listed as an endangered species.
Have you ever seen clown fish in their natural habitat? Contact us to book your scuba diving or snorkeling experience in Bali, we are sure that we will be able to find some Nemos together!