Orange skunk clownfish
The Orange skunk clownfish is a small sized fish which grows up to 11 cm as a female and 3 to 6.5 cm as a male. Its body has a stock appearance, oval shape, compressed laterally and with a round profile. Its coloration is very bright orange, with a white stripe on the dorsal ridge from the superior lip, passing between the eyes and ending at the caudal fin base. All the fins have the same coloration as the body except the dorsal fin which is partially white. Its iris is bright yellow.
Amphiprion sandaracinos typically lives in small groups on outer reef slopes or in lagoons at a maximal depth of 20 metres (66 ft). It inhabits in association with two different species of sea anemones. It's often observed in Stichodactyla mertensii and rarely in Heteractis crispa.
Amphiprion sandaracinos has a diurnal activity. It is protrandous hermaphrodite, which means the male can evolved to female during his life, and lives in harem in which an established dominance hierarchy manages the group and keeps individuals at a specific social rank. It has also an aggressive territorial behaviour and it is completely dependant from its sea anemone which represents its "life insurance" as a safe shelter for the group and for the nest.
The associative relationship that binds the clownfish and the sea anemone is called mutualism. In one hand, the fish lives within the sea anemone's tentacles and uses it as a shelter because it has developed a fin layer of mucus which covers its body as a protection against the stinging anemone's tentacles. On the other hand, the presence of the clownfish can be interpreted as a lure to attract potential anemone's preys close to the tentacles. And the clownfish can also defend the anemone against some reef fishes which could eat the tentacles like.
It is an omnivore, its diet including shrimp, and is best when supplied with an anemone. According to some sources, the minimum tank size for the fish is 30 gallons. The fish has successfully been bred in captivity. In a fish tank, it may be aggressive in the defense of its host or territory. It generally lingers nearby its host when a host is present.
- Tristan Lougher (2006). What Fish?: A Buyer's Guide to Marine Fish. Interpet Publishing. p. 20. ISBN 978-1-84286-118-9. "An attractive fish species, identifiable by the single broad stripe running along its back from the upper jaw to the base of the tail."
- Lieske & Myers,Coral reef fishes,Princeton University Press, 2009, ISBN 9780691089959
- Fautin & Dr Allen ’’Field guide to anemonefishes and their host sea anemones’’, Western Australian Museum,1992, ISBN 9781564651181
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