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  • Some cardinalfishes are small and careful enough

  • to hide amongst the spines of the crown of thorns starfish or the sea urchin,

  • thereby using the defense of the host to protect themselves.

  • This is known as a "commensal" relationship,

  • whereby one partner in the relationship benefits

  • while the other receives neither benefit nor harm.

  • It's a similar strategy adopted by anemonefishes.

  • They make their home in sea anemones,

  • the perfect refuge from predators.

  • Their skin has a special immunity from the anemone's stinging tentacles.

  • Skunk clownfish tend to favor the magnificent sea anemone.

  • Clark's anemonefish are not so particular

  • and find their home amongst a number of species of sea anemone.

  • This is a mutually-beneficial relationship.

  • While the fish are protected,

  • their feces provide food for the anemone

  • and they help keep it free of parasites.

  • They also chase away polyp eaters such as butterflyfishes,

  • thereby defending the anemone as well as their own family.

  • Some even attempt to chase off passing divers.

  • Juvenile Clark's anemonefish are predominantly orange in color.

  • Saddle anemonefish are not so prevalent

  • and are commonly associated with bubble-tip anemones

  • such as here at Richelieu Rock.

  • Juveniles display a white stripe reminiscent of other adult species.

  • Anyone who has seen the film "Finding Nemo"

  • will already be familiar with ocellaris clownfish.

  • They are normally found living amongst magnificent sea anemones.

  • Typically an anemone hosts a dominant female matriarch and her male mate,

  • as well as one or more juvenile anemonefish.

  • When the female dies, the male transforms into a female

  • and the highest ranking adolescent is promoted to be her mate.

  • Due to abnormally warm sea conditions,

  • this anemone has lost the symbiotic zooxanthellae that give it its color,

  • and may or may not recover.

  • Other types of fish have also evolved a resistance to the sea anemone's sting.

  • Juvenile domino damsels are often seen around sea anemones.

  • Competition with anemonefishes, as well as with each other,

  • can be fierce and incessant.

  • As adults they are one of the most aggressive fish on the reef, for their size,

  • and become less reliant on anemones for protection.

  • Another creature that uses the anemone to protect itself

  • is the porcelain anemone crab.

  • At the end of the crab's third maxillipeds

  • is a fan of bristles known as "setae"

  • which the crab holds against the current to filter plankton from the water.

  • Any collected food is scraped into the mouth

  • by smaller setae on the innermost maxillipeds.

  • Tube anemones are often seen in isolation on the seabed.

  • This tube anemone's stinging tentacles provide protection for a magnifcent shrimp,

  • as well phoronid worms which cover the tube.

  • A pair of whitecheek monocle bream pass by.

  • Jellyfishes, of course, are well known for their sting

  • and often attract hitchhikers such as small sardines.

  • The small fishes remain in the vicinity of the jellyfish,

  • sometimes for their whole lives.

  • When attacked, they find protection under the jellyfish's bell

  • or even right inside, past its stinging tentacles.

  • These hitchhikers are sheltering in a crowned jellyfish.

  • And this rhizostome jellyfish is harboring juvenile scad.

  • Older scad change from hunted to hunter.

  • The jellyfish's sting is no guarantee of its own survival.

  • This Australian spotted jellyfish at Racha Yai

  • comes under attack from a scrawled filefish.

Some cardinalfishes are small and careful enough

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C1 anemone jellyfish clark reef shark crab

Symbiosis & Anemonefish - Reef Life of the Andaman - Part 18

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    Bing-Je posted on 2013/12/12
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