Marine life in El Nido – Clown Fish – Nemo

Marine life in El Nido – Clown Fish – Nemo and his dad, Marlin, are ocellaris clownfish, also called false clownfish. Anemonefish are so-named for the sea anemones in which they make their homes. There are 28 species of anemonefish, and they come in many colors, such as pink, red, yellow, black, brown and multi-colored stripes. If you come and dive with Palawan Divers our dive guides will show you different kinds for sure!

Genus: Amphipirion
Depth: 20 meters

Diet: omnivores, they eat meat and plants. They typically eat algae, zooplankton, worms and small crustaceans.
Size: Their bodies are a bit more than 3 inches (88 millimeters) long on average, but they may grow up to 4 inches (110 mm).
Lifespan: 3-6 years

 

Clown Fish – Nemo – Mating & offspring.

Little is known specifically about false clownfish mating behaviors, but the general behaviors of anemonefish are known. All anemonefish are monogamous. Before spawning, the male prepares a nest by clearing a spot on bare rock near the anemone. He then courts a female with a show of extended fins, biting and chasing. He chases the female to the nest, but after that it is up to her to make the next move.

She will make several passes over the nest before depositing her eggs. She will lay from 100 to 1,000 eggs, which are 3 to 4 millimeters long. The male then passes over the nest and releases sperm to fertilize the eggs. Then, the female swims off.

The male does most of the “egg sitting.” He will fan them and eat any eggs that are infertile or damaged by fungus, according to the ADW. The eggs hatch six to eight days later. The larvae float away and spend about 10 days adrift. They start their lives clear or transparent, but as they begin to mature they start to gain the color of their species. As juveniles, the young will settle to the bottom of the reef to search for a host anemone.

Clown Fish – Nemo – Where to find them?

False clownfish live in the coral reefs off the coasts of Australia and Southeast Asia as far north as southern Japan. They are found mainly around certain kinds of anemones, a creature that anchors itself to the sea floor and uses its tentacles to attract food. The anemone’s tentacles have stinging cells called nematocysts that release a toxin when prey or predator touches it.

Clownfish, however, develop immunity to the toxin by very carefully touching the tentacles with different parts of their bodies, according to National Geographic. A layer of mucus builds up, protecting the clownfish from the toxin. The pair forms a symbiotic relationship. The anemone provides protection and leftovers for the clownfish, while the clownfish brings food to the anemone and preens its host, removing parasites.

Clown Fish – Nemo – Are they threatened?

Clownfish are not endangered. However, in the last generation, 15 to 30 percent of the world’s reefs have been lost, according to the ADW. Some of the destruction has been caused by fishermen catching clownfish to sell as pets.

According to National Geographic, since “Finding Nemo” premiered clownfish sales have tripled. Conservationists are concerned about the “Nemo Effect,” as some areas are overfished to meet the demand for these popular aquarium fish. Also, according to the Aquarium Welfare Association (AWA), many people bought the clownfish without knowing how to properly care for them. Inspired by a line in the movie, hundreds of children flushed their clownfish down the toilet in the hope of setting them free.

Clown Fish – Nemo – Where can we see them in El Nido?

Here in El Nido you can find 7 different types of clownfish with Palawan Divers. On all of our dive site you will at least find 4 different types. Helicopter Island is probably one of the only places where you can find all 7 species!

Helicopter island

Clown Fish – Nemo – The 7 El Nido species:

False Clown Anemone fish
Spinecheek Anemone Fish
Tomato Anemone Fish
Pink Anemone Fish
Orange Anemone Fish
Saddleback Anemone Fish
Clarks Anemone Fish

More information about diving with us:

The PADI Open Water course
The PADI Advanced Open Water course
Fun Dives in El Nido
What you will see?
How to get to El Nido

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