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Facts about Red Saddleback Anemonefish

[Phylum: Chordata] [Class: Actinopterygii] [Family: Pomacentridae] [Species: Amphiprion ephippium]

Apart from the saddleback fish, Pomacentridae refers to a family of ray-finned marine fishes that also includes the clownfishes (anemonefishes) and damselfishes.

This segment contains interesting information about red saddleback anemonefish (Amphiprion ephippium), such as where they live, what they eat, and how they reproduce.

Best Place for Red Saddleback Anemonefish

Anyone who goes scuba diving or snorkeling in the Indo-Pacific regions or the Red Sea is likely to find red saddlebacks.

However, they tend to live in superabundance in these diving hotspots:

There are about thirty (30) different species of anemonefish that use ocean anemones for shelter. Nonetheless, the red saddleback tends to be quite territorial in nature.

They often live in large colonies, swimming close to some host sea anemones for protection. Hence, it's rare to find any species of saddle anemonefish inhabiting coral reefs or shallow lagoons deeper than fifteen (15) metres.

Characteristics of Amphiprion Ephippium

Even though some aquarists enjoy keeping clownfishes and sea anemones in captivity, these two saltwater species share a form of symbiotic mutualism in their natural environment.

Here's the thing:

The stinging tentacles (cnidocytes) of a host anemone may contain a powerful venom. But, this relationship works because the stinger cells do not affect the clownfish.

Pro Tip: Another segment contains further information about sea anemone anatomy with a list of anatomical body parts and definitions.

How Big are Clown Anemonefish?

It's interesting to note that the female tends to be the largest and most aggressive. Thus, she sits at the top of the group in terms of "dominance hierarchy".

Red Saddleback Anemonefish Facts and Information with PicturesAnemonefishes are some of the smallest examples of marine vertebrates.

Depending on the species, the general sizes range between 9 and fourteen (14) centimetres (up to 6 inches).

When they become adults, the body colour of red saddleback anemonefish is a deep, blazing red-orange.

They also have a dark patch on each side of their back - close to the dorsal fin. Some say it looks similar to a horse saddle.

Juveniles can have up to three white bars instead of a patch.

Most anemonefish species display ten or eleven dorsal spines and two (2) anal spines. They have up to eighteen dorsal soft rays and fourteen anal soft rays.

What Do Anemonefish Eat?

One of the benefits of their "symbiotic relationship" with sea anemones is having a plentiful supply of food scraps from the host (including dead tentacles).

But, saddleback anemonefish is a carnivore that also feeds on filamentous algae, copepods, isopod crustaceans, and zooplankton.

How Do Anemonefish Reproduce?

Anemonefish are sequential hermaphrodites (males mature into females as they develop). In any given group, a male and female take part in a process of external fertilisation during the reproductive season.

Threats and Predators

By and large, red saddlebacks stay very close to sea anemones to avoid being eaten by their natural predators, which includes grouper fish, lionfish, moray eels, sharks, snappers, and triggerfish.

Important: The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species is a comprehensive source of information about the global conservation status of animals, fungi, and plants. Currently, the IUCN lists the red saddleback anemonefish (A. ephippium) as being of "Least Concern" (LC).

Related Information and Help Guides

Note: The short video clip [49 seconds] presented by "HERO PET CENTER RANONG" contains footage of a colourful saddleback anemonefish swimming close to its host anemone for protection.

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