Updated: Aug 1, 2019
Hello everyone, my name is Thomas and I am the Membership Director of ISMET. I also maintain the Aquariums that you see in the Live-streams. We will be doing one Marine Life profile a week. This week's feature is our Gold Nugget Maroon Clownfish that can be seen hosting a colony of Rose bubble tip anemones in the top left hand corner of the screen. This clownfish was aqua-cultured by Ocean Reef and Aquariums (ORA) in Fort Pierce Florida. As this fish matures it will change from a white body to a brilliant gold.
Clownfish exhibit a unique form of symbiosis. Symbiosis is the interaction between two different organisms living in close physical association, typically to the advantage of both. Clownfish show this behavior in their relationship with anemones. Clownfish produce a thick mucus layer that coats there entire body. The reason that they produce this layer is that it gives them protection for the nematocyst (stinging harpoon cells) that the anemone has on its tentacles. The clownfish gets protection from predators and the anemone gets protection for fish that would try to eat the nutrient-rich tentacles.
You may ask why does the clownfish not get eaten by the anemone? The clownfish also provides food for the anemone through its excrement as well as bringing food to the anemones. Our gold nugget clownfish will sometimes exhibit this behavior.