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Kidadl Team

AUGUST 05, 2021

Fin-tastic Facts About The Clownfish For Kids

Fun facts about clownfish for kids.

Clownfish, also known as clown anemonefish originated from the subfamily called Amphiprioninae which are called so because they form mutual symbiotic relationships with sea anemones. Clownfish's scientific name is Amphiprion percula. These anemonefish have distinctive characteristics that differentiate them from all other fish. Other than living in sea anemones, they are recognized by their bright-colored body with white bars. Clownfish are called so because of their appearance and bright colors associated with those of a real-life clown. They also swim erratically giving them a funny appearance and is known to be one of the most popular and common clownfish types.

These clownfish reside in the warmer waters of the Indian and the Pacific Ocean, the Red Sea, the Great Barrier Reef, as well as Japan and Indo-Malaysia. They can be found swimming at the bottom of the shallow seas, reefs, and lagoons which are shallow and sheltered. Clownfish got even more popular after they were featured as characters in the famous Disney Pixar movies, 'Finding Nemo' and 'Finding Dory'.

Here are some very interesting facts about clownfish species that all fish enthusiasts and kids will simply love. If you liked our interesting facts about the clownfish, you can check out other similar articles with great animal facts such as 33 clownfish facts and codfish.

Clownfish Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a clownfish?

Clownfish or clown anemonefish is a type of fish belonging to the Pomacentridae family and are distinctly known for their mutual symbiotic dependence on sea anemones for survival which is an inherent characteristic trait.

What class of animal does a clownfish belong to?

The clownfish belong to the class Actinopterygii, which consists of ray-finned bony fishes.

How many clownfish are there in the world?

The approximate number of clownfish is impossible to achieve because they are not only teeming in the oceans but also are kept as pets in aquariums. They fall under the least concern category in the conservation status. Thereby we can conclude that the world is not going to run out of this funny looking fish anytime soon.

Where does a clownfish live?

The clownfish usually inhabit the warm sea waters of the Indian Ocean and the Pacific ocean. They also are abundant in The Great Barrier Reef of Australia and the seas of Japan and Indo Malaysia. They usually live inside the tentacles of sea anemones.

What is a clownfish's habitat?

This yellow-orange species of pretty-looking fish usually thrive in the shallow parts of the sea looking for sea anemones to reside in. They are immune to the poison of the sea anemones unlike other sea creatures thereby keeping them protected from bigger clownfish threats and predators like eels. The saddle anemone is said to be the best anemone for clownfish to survive.

Who do clownfish live with?

Clownfish live inside the tentacles of sea anemones with packs that have a dominant female as their leader who is also the largest fish and a male who is smaller in size whom she pairs forever with. The group consists of other non-breeding subordinate fish who are males. If the female dies, the males start growing fast. One even changes their sex to become the next dominant female of the group.

How long does a clownfish live?

This species of clownfish usually live for six to 10 years if they are left in the wild. However, when in captivity, they only survive for three to five years only.

How do they reproduce?

Orange clownfish or anemonefish of the genus Amphiprion species usually thrive in warm seawater. This is the reason why they can reproduce all year long. The clownfish species usually move in groups with one dominant female and her mate who is the dominant male and a few nonbreeders whose exact role is unknown. The female anemonefish are known to mate with their dominant male partner for life and can lay thousands of eggs at a time. Before spawning, the dominant male usually courts the female fish by biting and chasing her and swimming in a downwards motion to attract her. The tenure of breeding for the females is nearly 12 years. If the female of the group dies, the dominant male changes their sex and becomes the next dominant female thereby continuing the cycle. It is also important to note that all clownfish are born male. These male clownfish change their sex into a female for the sole purpose of reproducing with the dominant male. After laying the clownfish eggs, the clownfish only tend to them till they hatch. The babies after hatching are completely left to survive on their own with some even being consumed by their parents.

What is their conservation status?

Clownfish are the most abundant type of fish that are found in the shallow parts of the sea. They are also in great demand as pets. Hence, despite the Conservation status being not listed, it can be concluded that the conservation status of this bright-colored anemonefish is of Least Concern.

Clownfish Fun facts

What do clownfish look like?

Interesting clownfish facts for kids and adults.

Clownfish are relatively small in size reaching up to a size of five inches which is the largest size that this species can reach. Orange clownfish is the most popular type of clownfish. Clownfish generally have three distinguishing white stripes lined with black on their bright-colored bodies which makes them highly attractive to look at. The anterior white stripe forms right behind their eye with the second stripe placed in the middle of the fish's body. And the posterior stripe is formed close to the caudal fin.

How cute are they?

Clown anemonefish are exceptionally cute and are special for their bright-colored bodies. Clownfish babies are cuter with their tiny fins and were one of the greatest inspirations behind the Disney film 'Finding Nemo which is a story about the adventures of a male clownfish named Marlin in his oceanwide search for his little son Nemo. Clownfish are visually very pleasing to look at because of their bright color and are thereby very popularly bought to keep in aquariums as pets.

How do they communicate?

Clownfish have a very unique type of communication. To communicate with each other they usually shuffle the bones in their mouth while smacking their teeth together and their jaws produce the sound. Unlike others, they are not known to honk their bulbous noses to communicate.

How big is a clownfish?

Clownfish size ranges from 0.5 inches to the largest ones reaching up to a size of three inches. Female clownfish are usually larger than males reaching about four inches in size.

How fast can a clownfish swim?

Clownfish are relatively not very good swimmers hence despite being able to swim fast for a short period of time, they cannot escape larger predators being unable to keep up with the same speed. Hence, they often preyed upon and are susceptible to larger fish who eat them.

How much does a clownfish weigh?

Clownfish are quite tiny in size and weigh about 250 grams at the most.

What are their male and female names of the species?

Clownfish males and females do not have any distinctive names to distinguish them for their gender. They are generally referred to as Clownfish males and females.

What would you call a baby clownfish?

Clownfish babies, like all other baby fishes, are called fry. Once they hatch from clownfish eggs, they are completely left on their own to fend for themselves.

What do they eat?

Clownfish are omnivores as they eat both plants and animals. The clownfish diet consists of algae and some small invertebrates including food scraps and parasites they find within the anemone.

Do humans eat them?

Clownfish, although deemed edible, should not be consumed by humans because of the layer of slimy mucus that covers their skin.

Would they make a good pet?

Clownfish would make amazing pets because of their cute quotient. Not only are they aesthetic to look at, but they also will add a pop of color to your aquarium with their bright orange and white bodies. To top it all, fans of the famous Pixar film 'Finding Nemo' will most definitely love to own a clownfish because of sentimental value reminding them of their childhood. However, if you do not want the typical orange clownfish, there are many other types from the clownfish species to choose from like Ocellaris clownfish, maroon clownfish, percula clownfish, and more. However, it is important to know that unlike in the wild, clownfish lifespan only extends from three to 10 years. They are also susceptible to Brooklynella disease which is known as the clownfish disease hence clownfish care is of utmost importance.

Did you know...

Clownfish are known to reside amongst the tentacles of sea anemones, which are fascinating and creatures of the sea. This unique relationship between clownfish and anemone is defined as symbiosis or a symbiotic relationship. The clown anemonefish is therefore referred to as the host of sea anemones.  The clownfish treats the sea anemone's thick tentacles as a home which in turn also serves as a protective barrier from predators. In return, the clownfish helps in removing parasites that plague the sea anemone by feeding on them and thereby help it thrive. The clownfish, therefore, is at a higher advantage. There are known to be over 100 distinguished varieties of sea anemones but only a select few are clownfish anemones.  Anemones are said to be poisonous to many sea creatures which helps keep predators of the clownfish at bay, but the clownfish has immunity over the poison because it has a layer of mucus on their skin.

Having your own clownfish

There are certain things one must be aware of before purchasing a clownfish for their aquariums. Clownfish price ranges from $10 to $25 if bred in captivity. However, clownfish directly caught from freshwater costs between $3 to $6. Although cheap to buy, they are expensive to maintain. Clownfish will need sea anemone to survive longer and these can be pretty expensive. Not to mention, you would need to keep a separate clownfish tank because mixing different species is not recommended. You also have to be very particular about the diet and give them proper clownfish food to keep this species of fish alive.

Types of clownfish

There are approximately 30 varieties of clownfish from the family of Amphiprioninae. They are ocellaris clownfish, black storm clownfish, maroon clownfish, tomato clownfish, black clownfish, percula clownfish, black ice clownfish, Picasso clownfish, longfin clownfish, black and white clownfish, blue clownfish, mocha storm clownfish, black snowflake clownfish, phantom clownfish, mocha clownfish,  saddle back clownfish, cinnamon clownfish, gladiator clownfish, freshwater clownfish, yellow clownfish and many other clownfish breeds.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish including the tarpon and the fluke fish.

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one of our Clownfish coloring pages.

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