Saturday, July 9, 2011

Life of Orange Clownfish

 
Life of Sea | Orange Clownfish (Amphiprion percula) | Orange clownfish is one of the most popular type of saltwater aquarium fish. It is also called True Percula Clownfish. The orange clownfish, like most clownfish, often live along side of sea anemones. It has various names such as clownfish, clown anemonefish, clownfish, eastern clownfish, and orange-clown anemonefish. The Orange clownfish live in tropical marine lagoons and seaweed reefs at depths ranging from 3-49 feet (1-15 m). It is native to the tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific region. Their distribution ranges from northern Queensland, Australia to Melanesia, including New Britain, New Guinea, New Ireland, Solomon Islands and Vanuatu.

Scientific classification
Kingdom:     Animalia
Phylum:     Chordata
Class:     Actinopterygii
Order:     Perciformes
Family:     Pomacentridae
Genus:     Amphiprion
Species:     A. percula
 
The Orange clownfish is orange with three white bands on the head, middle and tail regions. The middle band bulges forward toward the main focus. Black lines separate the orange and white color on the body. The tires may vary from a thick black line to the patches of black on the sides of the anemonefish. The fins of the orange clownfish has black tips.

The Orange clownfish feeds on worms, algae, plankton and small crustaceans. The diet of the Orange clownfish consists of a large number of prey. They forage on algae and plankton as food available from the host anemone. The Orange clownfish eat the dead tentacles of the anemone and any leftover food from the prey stinging tentacles of the anemone. The oOrange clownfish is prey for a number of fish such as sharks, rays and other large bony fish. While the eggs are vulnerable to predators, they are attached to a substrate that is protected by stinging tentacles of the anemone.

Ocellaris clownfish, sometimes referred to as the "false clownfish" or "common clownfish," is often confused with the Orange clownfish because they are very similar. The "best" way to tell the difference between the two to tell is by the number of spines in their first dorsal fin. The Orange clownfish has only ten, while the Ocellaris clownfish has eleven spines. The Percula Clownfish group has a strict hierarchy. The largest fish is the breeding female, the second largest fish, the breeding male and the rest of the group consists of smaller fish. The smallest fish is always at the bottom of the hierarchy. A very interesting feature is the Percula Clownfish is able to change sex. If the female dies, the male into a female and the largest non-breeder in a breeding male will change - even if the fish used to be a female.

Percula Clownfish always deposits the eggs in a place where it will be protected by the anemone. The egg laying process takes about 30 minutes and will usually take place in the morning. A party may consist of 100 to 1000 eggs. The eggs are immediately fertilized by the male Percula clownfish, and will continue around the anemone to protect them. A male Percula Clownfish eggs can be very aggressive. The eggs hatch after approximately one week.

The clownfish has a unique relationship with the sea anemone. The clownfish will lure fish to the sea anemone, where the fish are stung by the anemones tentacles. The sea anemone, the clownfish protection from other fish, including brittle stars, wrasses and damselfish. In turn, the clowfish the anemone with food, more oxygen, and will waste the sea-anemone. This species is harvested for consumption, but is popular in the aquarium trade. This species is often kept by aquarists at home because of the hardness in captivity.
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