The symbiosis between Amphiprion percula and its host anemone serves as an effective anti-predation measure. Protected within the tentacles of the sea anemone, Amphiprion percula belongs to a unique group of fishes that are not stung by the nematocysts. It is believed that a thick mucous layer cloaks the fish from detection and response by anemone tentacles (Rosenberg and Cruz, 1988). Fish species lacking in this physiological adaptation are captured and devoured by the sea anemone. It is no surprise, then, that Amphiprion percula has very few predatory foes as adults. Presence of danger immediately elicits a response to seek shelter deep within its host. Although adults are relatively safe from predation, the eggs of Amphiprion percula are susceptible and must be guarded by the dominant male. The most common day predators are wrasses (family Labridae) and other damselfishes (family Pomacentridae). Night predators of eggs are generally not fishes but invertebrates like brittle stars (Ophiotrichidae, Ophiochimidae, and Ophiodermatidae) (Arvedlund et al., 2000). (Arvedlund, Bundgaard, and Nielsen, 2000; Rosenberg and Cruz, 1988)
- Arvedlund, M., I. Bundgaard, L. Nielsen. 2000. Host imprinting in anemonefishes (Pisces: Pomacentridae): does it dictate spawning site preferences?. Environmental Biology of Fishes, 58: 203-213.
- Rosenberg, S., G. Cruz. 1988. The anemonefishes of the Indo-Pacific. Sea Frontiers, 34: 16-21.