Known to all as Nemo, the plucky animated fish of Disney Pixar fame, the Common Clownfish is probably the best-loved reef fish in the sea.
Resplendent in their bright orange and white bands, Clownfish are usually found living in closely bonded pairs or small groups among the reef’s anemones. Clownfish are immune to the anemone’s fierce sting and gain protection from predators by hiding among the treacherous tentacles. In return for this bodyguard service, the Clownfish feed on the small invertebrates that would otherwise harm the anemone. This convenient domestic arrangement is known as mutualism.
At Chester Zoo our Clownfish live in a complex coral reef tank in the Aquarium along with numerous other colourful reef fishes, brittle stars, shrimps and of course their anemone homes.