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Clown fish in anemone

Clown fish in anemone

In the photo - clown fish Amphiprion ocellaris among the tentacles sea anemone, or sea anemone . These fish are known in many respects thanks to the Disney cartoon “Finding Nemo” . But the cartoon does not give a bit of knowledge about all those interesting aspects of the physiology and social organization of clown fish, the study of which the researchers are enthusiastically engaged in, as well as their diversity and evolution. And not everything in the cartoon is true.

Clown fish (subfamily 3–3–335. Amphiprioninae 3–3–3298.) Are tropical marine fish from order 3–3–337. perch-like living on reefs near the archipelagos of the Indian and Pacific Oceans. There are 30 known species of clown fish, the smallest species measuring less than 10 cm, the largest - up to 17 cm. Clowns Amphiprion ocellaris live on coral reefs of the eastern Indian Ocean, including 3–3–341. Andaman and Nicobar Islands , Indonesia, Philippines, Thailand, Singapore, Malaysia, the northwest coast of Australia, the Japanese islands Ryukyu .

All clown fish live and breed in sea anemones, forming 3–3–349 with them. symbiotic relationship. Among their tentacles, the fish find shelter from predators. Sea anemones are bowing animals of class coral polyps , in their integument there are stinging cells - cnidocytes, or nematocytes 3-3-33298. , - sensitively reacting to the touch of other animals: when discharged, nematocytes release a mini-harpoon thread, which pierces the skin of the victim. At the same time, poisonous secrets of complex composition are introduced. Anemone venom is a mixture of polypeptides that 3-3-3357 may possess. hemolytic and neurotoxic action. However, anemones do not respond to the touch of clown fish (as well as some symbiotic crustaceans).

What is the mechanism of this polyp tolerance towards tailed cohabitants is not entirely clear. It is only clear that the matter is in some chemical components of the skin mucus of the fish. Scientists 3-3-3363. found signs of driving selection and accelerated evolution in 17 genes of clown fish, two of which are responsible for the synthesis of carbohydrate components of skin mucus.

It takes time, on the order of several hours, to establish a peaceful relationship between the fish and sea anemone, when the clown first settles in it. First, the fish gently touches the tentacles of the polyp, apparently receiving a certain dose of the poison, which stimulates the formation of the protective components of mucus in its skin, and then there is already complete agreement between the two animals.

Clown fish are not picky about their diet: they include algae, worms, small crustaceans, and generally everything that suits them. As a rule, in search of food, the fish do not move further from their anemone by more than a few meters.

Clowns monitor cleaning in the sea anemone, eliminating garbage, parasites, injured and infected anemone tissue (cleaning at the same time combined with lunch). In addition, they drive away predatory fish, which can attack the sea anemone (for example, 3–3–373. Butterfly fish 3–3–3298. Like to pinch off pieces of its tentacles, if necessary). Actinias receive the remnants of fish meals and their stools as payment for shelter. In addition, fish improve the oxygen regime for the polyp by ventilating the water with fins waving. This is especially true at night, when the symbiotic seaweed of anemone stops releasing oxygen.

Butterfly fish Chaetodon xanthocephalus eats tentacles of anemone

Clown fish enter into symbiosis with ten species of sea anemones from three families (3–3–389. Actiniidae 3–3–3298., 3–3–391. Stichodactylidae 3–3–3298., 3–3–393. Thalassianthidae 3–3–3298.). Most anemone symbionts have moderate toxicity. Obviously, the same kind of anemones can serve as a haven for several species of clown fish (after all, the number of clown species is 30 and the anemones with which they are friends are three times less). But the distribution is far from uniform. Fewer fish species are associated with the most and least toxic anemones. Some clown fish are specialists living with only one species of sea anemones, while others are generalists capable of living with several species of hosts, such as Amphiprion ocellaris , which comes into relationship with sea anemones of three species: Heteractis magnifica , Stichodactyla gigantea , Stichodactyla mertensii .

The emergence of symbiosis with anemones became a determining event in the isolation of the evolutionary branch of clown fish. This association contributed to the further accelerated 3-3-3147. divergences 3-3-33298. species among these fish. Probably the competition is pushed them to establish symbiotic relationships with ever new types of anemones, and this, in turn, contributed to the emergence of reproductively isolated subpopulations in ancestral populations, which eventually turned into new species.

Types of clown fish differ not only in color, but also in the number of stripes. They have a relatively simple pattern: from zero to three vertical white stripes on a yellow, red, brown or even black body background.

Clown fish in anemone

A variety of species of clown fish. The colors of adults are shown. Three species from block e may have variations in the distribution of bands in adults. Note that in species with one stripe, it is only on the head. The pattern also changes within each represented species as it grows. From an article by P. Salis et al., 2018.3-3r3241. Ontogenetic and phylogenetic simplification during white stripe evolution in clownfishes

Recent phylogenetic 3-3-33241. Research 3-3-33298. allowed us to understand the evolution of the color of clown fish species as they were 3–3–3147. divergences 3-3-33298. . The common ancestral species, which lived about 12 million years ago, had three stripes. In some species, the bands subsequently disappeared in order from tail to head.

Clown fish in anemone

Color evolution of clown fish: phylogenetic analysis. Initially, the ancestor was three-lane. The strips were lost in order from tail to head. Figure from an article by P. Salis et al., 2018.3-3r3241. Ontogenetic and phylogenetic simplification during white stripe evolution in clownfishes

Interestingly, in the same order - from tail to head - the strips disappear into 3-3-3169. ontogenesis of after its initial appearance as juvenile individuals of those species grow in which the distribution of the pattern differs from the initial three-lane. Thus, the development of clown fish coloring is a great example of "Biogenetic law" In action.

In their individual development, each clown fish goes through several stages: embryonic (the time that the fish spends inside the eggs), larval (very different in many respects from the two following), juvenile (in this stage, the fish looks almost like an adult, but differs smaller size and immature reproductive system) and, finally, the stage of maturity. The same change of stages is characteristic of the remaining 3–3–3175. reef fish . Larvae lead a planktonic way of life and settle over long distances (3–3–3177. Up to 400 km 3–3–3298.), Remain on a new reef, turn into juvenile individuals, find their sea anemone and spend their further life on it.

Coloring of clown fish Amphiprion ocellaris and orange amphiprion (3-3-33301. Amphiprion percula 3-3-3302.) During their growth and development 3-3-3303.

The larvae of the clowns are at first almost colorless. The formation of a pattern on the body is determined by the appearance of 3-3-3195 in the skin. chromatophores (pigment cells): xanthophores (orange), 3-3-3197. melanophores 3-3-33298. (black), leucophores (white) and iridophores (giving a white and iridiscent color) in the corresponding areas. The processes of differentiation and death of chromatophores are controlled by 3–3–3199. thyroid hormones - the same ones that has. tailless amphibians control the transformation of the tadpole into a frog.

Clown fish in anemone

Change in the morphology of clown fish of two species - Amphiprion ocellaris and Amphiprion frenatus (in 3-3-301. lower row 3-3-3302.) there is only one strip at the head, here as the larval stage (at the age of 811 and 14 days) and the early juvenile stage (6 months) pass. In adults, A. frenatus there is only one strip at the head, here is still shown a young individual, which still has a second strip in the middle of the body. Figure from an article by P. Salis et al., 2018.3-3r3241. Ontogenetic and phylogenetic simplification during white stripe evolution in clownfishes

Maybe , striped patterns of clown fish can serve to recognize species. Indeed, sympatric species the number of bands is different. The only exceptions are communities, including the polymorphic species 3-3-33301. Amphiprion clarki [/i] and Amphiprion melanopus .

Interestingly, in the case when clowns of two different species settle together on the same sea anemone, these are always species with a different number of stripes. Conflicts does not occur. if the fish decided on hierarchy issues. The dominant species occupies the central zone of the anemone, while the subdominant species occupies the periphery. If another clown family with the same number of stripes as the owners try to enter the previously occupied anemone, they will not see hospitality. Clown fish can be very aggressive towards competitors. Aquarists know that these features must be considered when settling these fish in one common aquarium.

Clown fish in anemone

Little pink clown ( Amphiprion perideraion ) [/i] and a large three-lane clown ([i] Amphiprion tricinctus ) among the tentacles sea anemones . Photo from the site phys.org

Clown fish survive to 20 years. For small fish, this is a lot: related fish of a comparable size live no more than 5-10 years. Moreover, clowns produce viable offspring until their death - that is, in their life cycle there is no decrease in the function of the reproductive system. Perhaps the factor that favored the selection for delayed aging was the reduced probability of death of adult clowns from the teeth of a predator under the protection of tentacles of anemone.

Photo © Vladislav Strekopytov from flickr.com .

Tatyana Romanovskaya

29 май 2020 /
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