The clownfish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

Clownfish and Sea Anemone: Symbiotic Relationship | Navodita George Maurice -

the clownfish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

If you've seen the film 'Finding Nemo', you may already be familiar with clownfish and sea anemones. But, do you understand why they can live. The oceans of the world contain over 1, different species of sea anemones. Symbiosis describes the special relationship between clownfish. Clownfish have evolved an ingenious though slimy way to use stinging anemones for their.

The largest member of a group is a female and the second largest one the male.

Clownfish and Bubble Tip Anemone - A Symbiotic Relationship

Clownfish are neuter which means that they do not have fully developed sex organs for either gender. Clownfish prefer to lay their eggs on flat surfaces where they can adhere properly. Spawning generally occurs around the time of full moon. The male is known to guard the eggs until they hatch after days. They lay eggs ranging from hundreds to thousands. 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.

the clownfish 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. 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 defend their territory and the sea anemone that they live in. Clownfish eat the leftovers from fish on the anemone and algae.

The leftovers include copepods, isopods and zooplankton. Clownfish have a few ocean predators, but their greatest threat is humans. People who catch clownfish and keep them as pets in aquariums are making a mistake.

Sea Anemone and Clownfish relationship Commensalism - Future Tech Report

There are only ten out of more than one thousand types of anemone that are able to host these fish. Many people put the fish in a tank with the wrong anemone. In captivity, the clownfish can live from 3 to 5 years.

the clownfish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

In the wild, they live 6 to 10 years. 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.

the clownfish and sea anemone symbiotic relationship

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. This is to the advantage of the mimic but to the detriment of both the model, whose protective signals are effectively weakened, and of the dupe, which is deprived of an edible prey.

For example, a wasp is a strongly-defended model, which signals with its conspicuous black and yellow coloration that it is an unprofitable prey to predators such as birds which hunt by sight; many hoverflies are Batesian mimics of wasps, and any bird that avoids these hoverflies is a dupe.

Amensalism is an asymmetric interaction where one species is harmed or killed by the other, and one is unaffected by the other.

Clownfish & Sea Anemones: A Symbiotic Relationship

Competition is where a larger or stronger organism deprives a smaller or weaker one from a resource. Antagonism occurs when one organism is damaged or killed by another through a chemical secretion. An example of competition is a sapling growing under the shadow of a mature tree. The mature tree can rob the sapling of necessary sunlight and, if the mature tree is very large, it can take up rainwater and deplete soil nutrients.

Throughout the process, the mature tree is unaffected by the sapling.