Within the warm waters of the oceans, clownfish are found living among the tentacles of the sea anemones. Such a small, seemingly so vulnerable, a fish living within the poisonous tentacles of a sea anemone! The very thought seems a cruel trick of nature. However, if the clownfish has been surviving within the deadly tentacles of the sea anemone, it is because the two have a give and take relationship between them. This relationship is known as symbiosis. After the sea anemone has eaten its meal, the clownfish feeds on the remains of the kill. It also eats up the dead tentacles of the sea anemone and thereby, keeps the environment around the polyp clean. It also helps its host in getting its prey.
The clownfish attracts other fish with its bright colors into the tentacles of the sea anemone, that the polyp kills with its poison and then devours. The feces of the clownfish also provides fertilizer to the sea anemone. The clownfish also chases away polyp-eating fish like the Butterfly fish. As the clownfish actively swims around within the tentacles of the sea anemone, it increases circulation of water around the polyp. In return, the sea anemone provides protection to the clownfish, as the predators of the clownfish prefer to steer clear of the venomous tentacles of the sea anemone.
The body of a clownfish is covered with a coating of mucus, that is made of proteins instead of sugars. It is believed that this is the reason why the sea anemone does not view the clownfish as its enemy. See note on the original website: http://www.buzzle.com/articles/clownfish-and-sea-anemone.html
The most likely hosts for these clowns are listed below:
Carpet Anemone (Stichodactyla gigantean)
Ritteri (Maroon) Anemone (Heteractis magnifica)
Saddle Anemone (Stichodactyla haddoni)
See note on the original website: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/ca/volume_3/cav3i1/Clown_anemone/Clown_anemone.htm