for June features the fish of the subfamily
Amphiprioninae, affectionately referred to
as "Clownfish" or "Anemonefish"
within the ornamental marine fish trade. Generally,
these highly sought after fish partake in
nature's most recognized symbiotic relationships:
the sea anemone and the anemonefish. However,
aquarists have learned that once in captivity,
anemonefish are not choosy of which animal
they use as a host. As this series of photos
will detail, anemonefish will host in just
about any coral within a marine reef aquarium.
Anemones are obviously the first choice, but
when they are not present, the clownfish will
opt for any large fleshy coral. During desperate
times, they can be found hosting within leather
corals or even zoanthids.
question that continues to stupefy the scientific
community is, "exactly how does the anemonefish
live within a coral that would normally kill
similarly-sized fish?" The answer remains
nothing more than various hypotheses at this
time, but one thing is known for sure: hobbyists
will continue to enjoy the magnificent relationship
between an anemonefish and its host anemone,
whether or not the scientists figure out one
of life's great mysteries.
Photos by Reef Central members. Text by
Henry C. Schultz III.
Many thanks to John
Love (Rock Anemone) for his assistance with