Orange Clownfish – Species Spotlight

Orange clownfish

Orange Clownfish: Amphiprion percula

The orange clownfish is a popular fish in the pet industry and they have become further well known after the Finding Nemo movie (Who is looking forward to Finding Dory later this year!? 😀 ), although Nemo and Marlin are Amphiprion ocellaris (False percula clownfish). Amphiprion percula and Amphiprion ocellaris are often confused as they are so similar (and I do not claim to be an expert on clownfish), but can be identified by the number of spines in the first dorsal fin, with A. percular having  10 and A. ocellaris having 11.

These fish are within a group of fishes termed anemonefish. This is due to their mutualistic (both organisms benefit) relationships with anemones. The anemones protect the fish by detering/consuming predators with their nematocysts/stings, whilst the fish protect the anemones mostly from parasites. The anemones may also get some nutrition from the clownfish excrement, as the clownfish may potentially consume dead matter from the anemone.

Research suggests that they can swim about the anemone without getting stung due to a mucus secreted from the fish. A. percula has also been found to be toxin resistant to some anemone toxins, yet not all anemonefish seem to posses this quality (Mebs, 1994).

The Orange clownfish is not currently listed as endangered, although some populations may be affected by fish being removed from the wild to become pets or add to pet industry breeding stocks.

Mebs, D 1994, “Anemonefish symbiosis: vulnerability and resistance to of fish to the toxin of the sea anemone”, Toxicon, Vol. 32, No. 9, pp. 1059-1068.

Veiled Chameleon – Species Spotlight

Veiled Chameleon: Chamaeleo calyptratus

Veiled Chameleon

Found naturally across Yemen and Saudi Arabia, veiled chameleons are mostly green (like the one above) or brown, with a casque on their heads. They can also display a variety of other colours dependent on the situation, typically when frightened or excited. Their eyes are also very interesting, as they can swivel independently.

These chameleons typically consume insects, however they may also consume some foliage. It is thought that they may eat the leaves more for their water content, than for nutrition.

The veiled chameleon is not considered to be threatened and is considered a pest in some of its non-natural distribution: Veiled chameleons are considered invasive pests in Hawaii. They have also been reported in Florida, likely due to released/escaped pets. The veiled chameleons in Florida are considered exotic, but have not yet been listed as invasive (haven’t been found to cause significant damage) to my knowledge.

Plantae

Plantae is the kingdom that contains organisms commonly referred to as plants. Similar to animals, plants are also multi-cellular eukaryotes. Organisms within Plantae have cell walls containing cellulose and their cells also contain chlorophyll. They also tend to be autotrophs that typically use photosynthesis to create energy (food) for themselves. However, there are some parasitic and carnivorous plants that don’t rely, or don’t fully rely, on photosynthesis that still are classed within Plantae.