SCUBA Travel
Clownfish, anemone, damselfish

Photo copyright Tim Nicholson.
Taken on Daedelus, Egyptian Red Sea.
Two-Banded Clownfish, Amphiprion bicinctus (Rüppell).

The most common clownfish in the Red Sea. It is found at depths of 1-30 m, generally living in pairs in association with an anemone. This is a classic example of symbiosis. The tentacles of the anemone protect the clownfish from predators. At first contact with the anenome the clownfish jerks back, but gradually its mucus coating gives it immunity to the anemone's stinging nematocysts. The benefit to the anemone is probably down to the fish's swimming within its tentacles and wafting them around, thus increasing the water flow and hence the amount of oxygen available to the anemone. The anemone may also feed on the fish's waste material.

More pictures of clownfish are in the Clownfish Room of our photo gallery.

Further Reading
Coral Reef Fishes, Indo-Pacific and Caribbean , by Ewald Lieske and Robert Myers, Harper Collins
Jacques Cousteau: The Ocean World, Abradale Press