Ocellaris Clownfish -- The Model for Nemo

Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris)
Clownfish (Amphiprion ocellaris) - Pulau Sipadan, Malaysia

by B. N. Sullivan

The clownfish species in the photo on this page is Amphiprion ocellaris.  This species was the model for the Disney/Pixar animated character Nemo, although there are some 30 species of clownfish living in the tropical seas of the Indo-Pacific region.

Clownfish are known also as Amemonefish, after their habit of making their homes among the tentacles of sea anemones.  Each species of clownfish lives preferentially in certain anemone species.   The Ocellaris clownfish in the photo above is snuggled into an anemone called Heteractis magnifica. This anemone appears to be the preferred abode of this fish species, although some Ocellaris clownfish can be found living in anemones of the genus Stichodactyla.  

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