The Pink anemonefish or Pink skunk clownfish, Amphiprion perideraion (Perciformes - Pomacentridae) is one of 29 recognized species within the genus Amphiprion, which groups the clownfishes or anemonefishes.
Native to warmer waters of the Indian and Pacific oceans, including the Great Barrier Reef and Red Sea, Anemonefish live at the bottom of shallow seas in sheltered reefs or shallow lagoons. Many people refer to these fish by a popular subspecies name, Clownfish (Amphiprion percula).
Anemonefish, who are immune to the stinging nematocysts of the sea anemone, have a symbiotic/mutualistic relationship with them. The sea anemone protects these “partners” from predators, as well as providing food scraps left over from their meals. In return, “clownfish” defend the anemone from parasites and predators (like the brittle star). It’s even possible that the bright colors of the clownfish aid in luring small fish to the sea anemone.
Anemonefish have a slimy mucus covering that protects them from the sea anemone’s deadly sting. It is thought that this coating may be sugar based rather than protein based so the anemone fail to recognize them as a food source. All anemonefish begin life as males. As they grow, a male may change to become a female on an “as needed” basis, such as the death of the previous dominant female.
Because we all need a good dose of tropical these days, here’s a pink anemonefish. These fish are found in the toasty warm waters of the western Pacific and Indian oceans. And at the New England Aquarium. Look for the vibrant tropical tanks near the shark and ray touch tank.