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Clown anemonefish, so named for the multicolored sea anemone in which they make their homes, are amongst the favorite of all reef-dwellers. The bright orange with three distinctive white bars coloration is the most recognizable, but did you know that there are in fact 28 different species of anemonefish, which come in a variety of colors, such as pink, red, yellow, black, brown, and multi-colored stripes.
Anemones are jellyfish relatives, and use the same kinds of stinging cells called nematocysts to stun their prey. Clownfish are able to live in them because a layer of mucus on their skin makes the fish immune to the anemone’s lethal sting. But this immunity takes some time to develop, and clownfish have to take their time touching its tentacles with different parts of their bodies until they are acclimated to their host. In exchange for safety from predators and food scraps, the clownfish drives off intruders and preens its host, removing parasites.