Aquatics Unlimited: Articles: Clownfish and Anemone Compatibility
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Clownfish and Anemone Compatibility

for the week of 3/26/98

There is a definite closeness between clownfish and their host anemone. The anemone provides protection for the clown, and in turn for this protection the clown feeds and cleans the anemone and also may even drive off fish that could be harmful to the anemone. These two animals share a true symbiotic relationship. But will any clown go into any anemone? The answer to this question is most definitely NO!

Each of the clownfish varieties has a definite preference as to which anemone is suitable to become their home. For instance, a False Percula (Ocellaris) clown would be very at home in a carpet anemone, would probably accept a bubble anemone, might put up with a sebae anemone, and wouldn't even consider an Atlantic anemone.

The following table pairs each variety of clown species of anemone that might be accepted. Anemones in bold represent a natural host anemone for that species of clown:

False Percula Clown
Amphiprion ocellaris
Carpet anemone,
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone
Percula Clown
Amphiprion percula
Carpet anemone,
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone
"Sebae" Clown
Amphiprion clarkii
Sebae anemone
Long Tentacle anemone
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Carpet anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone
Tomato Clown
Amphiprion frenatus
Bubble anemone
Long Tentacle anemone
Sebae anemone
Maroon Clown
Premnas biaculatus
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Bubble anemone
Long Tentacle anemone
Pink Skunk Clown
Amphiprion perideraion
Long Tentacle anemone
Sebae anemone
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone
Carpet anemone
Saddle anemone
Bubble anemone

Bubble anemone = Entacmaea quadricolor
Long tentacle anemone = Macrodactyla doreensis
Sebae anemone = Heteractis malu
Ritteri (Maroon) anemone = Heteractis magnifica
Carpet anemone = Stichodactyla gigantea
Saddle anemone = Stichodactyla haddoni

Submitted by: Bruce Boziel


"Tip of the week" appeared regularly in 1999 and 2000.

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