The popularity of clownfish is increasing tremendously every year, and for good reason too. Not only are these unique fish incredibly beautiful to look at, but they have peaceful personalities too, which always helps when trying to create a harmonious aquarium community.
Another thing that makes clownfish so unique is the diversity from one Clownfish species to another. Sure, you have your classic, Nemo-looking Ocellaris Clownfish, but there are actually an abundance of different types of clownfish that you probably didn't know existed! So, let's dive straight into our list of 10 fun facts about Clownfish.
10 Interesting Facts About Clownfish
Interesting facts about clownfish are not going to come any better than those that feature on our list, enjoy.
1. There are 30 different types of clownfish species
Yes, that's right, there are over 30 subspecies of clownfish! Incredibly, out of all these species, the smallest is the true percula clownfish (4.3 inches/11 cm long), and the largest species is the maroon clownfish (7 inches/18 cm long).
2. Males can become female
That's right! In the wild (and in captivity), all clownfish carry both male and female reproductive organs, which means when a female clownfish either dies or is unable to reproduce, the male will step in and become female to lay the eggs. Pregnant clownfish don't exist, instead, they are livebearers, which means they lay eggs and the males fertilize them.
3. Clownfish are from the Pacific and Indian Oceans
There is often confusion when it comes to the origins of clownfish and where they reside in the wild. Typically, clownfish will live in warm waters within shallow and sheltered reefs in the Pacific and Indian Oceans. During the winter months, they will usually migrate to deeper waters in order to stay warm.
4. Females rule the roost
Clownfish tend to travel and live in schools in the wild, and the leader of these schools is always the most aggressive female clownfish.
5. They are not amazing swimmers
A common question posed by many is are clownfish good swimmers? Despite being, well, fish, clowns are surprisingly poor swimmers, spending most of their time hiding out in anemones for protection. When they do venture outside of their homes, you will see some pretty erratic and somewhat clumsy swimming!
6. Male clownfish are the most caring
It isn't just in the movie Nemo where we get to see a dedicated and responsible clownfish father, they are all like this! Male clowns will prepare the nest for the female to disperse the eggs into, guard the eggs with their life, and often clean and take care of the nest.
7. The anemone myth
Sea anemones are heavily associated with clownfish, and rightfully so. The bizarre relationship between both living beings is incredibly unique, but did you know that out of over 1,000 anemone species, there are only 10 that can coexist safely with clownfish? And despite this, there are some instances where a seemingly compatible anemone and clownfish will still not be able to live together so it is important to get your clownfish tank setup right.
8. Clownfish are omnivores
Typically, clownfish will follow an omnivore diet consisting mainly of plankton, mollusk, zooplankton, phytoplankton, small crustaceans, algae, and of course, the anemone leftovers! Make sure to be careful with which clownfish tank mates you choose as some will be less compatible than others, especially the small invertebrates.
9. How do clownfish catch their prey?
Clownfish are very cunning when it comes to catching their food. They will usually set off from the anemone by swimming into the reef area, attracting larger predatory fish, and luring them back to the anemone. Once the fish touches the anemone it will be stung and eaten, after this, whatever is leftover from the anemone is given to the clownfish.
10. Clownfish communication
Clownfish have a truly unique way of communicating with one another, and this way is by making a strange popping and clicking noise.
So, what makes clownfish so special? Clownfish are truly remarkable fish, and there is still so much yet to find out about these incredible bright orange aquatic icons. By providing you with these facts hopefully you can see why they are such remarkable fish, and there is still so much more to learn and discover!