Fun Facts About Anemonefish

Did you know that anemonefish, also known as clownfish, are not only adorable but also fascinating creatures? Dive into the vibrant world of these colorful reef dwellers with our fun facts:

Spinecheek Anemonefish

 1. Mutual Relationship: Anemonefish have a unique symbiotic relationship with sea anemones. They live in the protective tentacles of the anemones, which provide shelter from predators, while the fish, in turn, bring food to the anemones and remove parasites.

 2. Gender-Bending: Anemonefish have the ability to change their gender! When the dominant female dies, the dominant male transforms into a female, and the next in line becomes the new male. It’s an extraordinary adaptation for maintaining a healthy population. 

Pink Anemonefish

3. Protective Parents: Anemonefish are incredible parents. After laying their eggs on a flat surface close to the anemone, the male diligently guards and aerates them until they hatch. Once the eggs hatch, the parents continue to protect and care for their tiny offspring.

Twoband Anemonefish aerating its eggs

4. Immune to Anemone Sting: Anemones have stinging cells that can harm other fish, but anemonefish have a special mucus coating on their skin that protects them from the anemone’s sting. They can safely navigate through the anemone’s tentacles without getting hurt. 

Western Anemonefish also known as Nemo

5. Communal Living: Anemonefish are social creatures and often live in small groups called “clans” or “schools.” Within these groups, there is a strict hierarchy, with the largest and most dominant female being the leader.

More about Anemonefishes & other beautiful Indo-Pacific fishes you can find in the photo guide Reef Fishes of the Coral Triangle

Scorpionfish: Facts You Might Not Know

Have you ever come across the enigmatic scorpionfish during your underwater explorations? Today, we are excited to share some fascinating facts about these incredible creatures that you may find intriguing.

Ruby Scorpionfish

1. Scorpionfish are masters of camouflage, often blending seamlessly with their surroundings due to their mottled and sometimes colorful skin patterns, making them highly effective ambush predators. 

2. These fish are equipped with venomous spines on their dorsal, anal, and pelvic fins, which they use for self-defense. Their venom can cause intense pain, swelling, and in rare cases, even death in humans, making them a hazard to unwary divers and fishermen. 

Ocellated Scorpionfish

3. Scorpionfish have a unique hunting technique, using their pectoral fins to “walk” along the seafloor and disturb the substrate, flushing out potential prey such as small fish and crustaceans. 

4. They are generally solitary and territorial creatures, often remaining in the same area for extended periods, waiting patiently to ambush passing prey.

Filamentous Scorpionfish

5. Scorpionfish are known for their elaborate courtship displays, with males performing dances and visual demonstrations to attract females before spawning. 

6. Despite their venomous nature, scorpionfish are a popular target for recreational fishermen and are considered a delicacy in many parts of the world, though handling and preparing them requires caution.

Ambon Scorpionfish

More about Scorpionfishes & other beautiful Indo-Pacific fishes you can find in the photo guide Reef Fishes of the Coral Triangle

Red Sea Fish Guides for scuba divers and underwater photographers

For many of us, the Red Sea is the place of our first scuba dives. And the place of the first acquaintance with the world of tropical fish and corals. A world of bright colours and such unusual sea animals that you want to understand what you are looking at.

This is where books come to help us. My first book – of course it was yellow Debelius! Red Sea Reef Guide, to be precise. First published in 1997, this book has only changed its cover since then. And this is my first love in the world of fish identification books. No one has ever asked the question – is this book about the fish of the Red Sea? The answer will be given later.

I soon realised that I was seeing a lot of things underwater that were not in this book. Lieske-Myers arrived on time – Coral Reef Guide Red Sea, much more detailed and comprehensive. But some time passed and I asked myself the same question. Is this book about the fish of the Red Sea?

The answer in both cases is the same and lies on the surface – you should carefully look at the covers and first pages of the books. Both books are about the Red Sea and surrounding seas. And a large proportion of the fish presented in these wonderful books have never been seen in the Red Sea. Gulf of Aden, Somalia, Oman. Not spoiled by the attention of tourists. But they are interesting in terms of marine biology. And the authors’ desire to share with readers photographs of fish from this region is understandable. Let it be towed to the Red Sea. But this sometimes creates funny situations. Like pages where none of the fish are present in the Red Sea – but only experts notice this.

Both of the books mentioned above are great. And with their help it is possible to identify hundreds of species of fish from the Red Sea – 436 in the first and 556 in the second. But the years passed – and then decades. Dozens of new species of Red Sea fish have been described, many have changed their names. I already lived in Sharm el Sheikh in Sinai. And when it became difficult to identify my underwater photographs with old books, I prepared and published Red Sea Marine Life book in 2022. More than 800 species of fish, 260 species of corals. A total of 2120 species, including nudibranchs, crustaceans and others. My friends helped me with photographs of many rare species, but two thirds of the photographs in the book are mine.

My job of identifying my own underwater photos has been made a lot easier! Actually, this is why the book was created, like my other books. The only problem is that I continue to scuba dive in the Red Sea. And while diving I continue to find new interesting fish and other reef animals. Time for an update? But it will be endless! On the other hand – why not?

The material is a subjective opinion and therefore does not contain conclusions. But it contains objective information

Best Regards, Andrey Ryanskiy

5 Things You Might not Know About Rays

Rays are fascinating creatures that inhabit our oceans and have some surprising characteristics.

Round Ribbontail Ray

1. Rays Are Not Actually Fish: Contrary to popular belief, rays are not classified as fish. They belong to a distinct group of cartilaginous fishes called elasmobranchs, which also includes sharks. 

2. Electric Rays: Some species of rays, known as electric rays, have the incredible ability to generate and discharge electric shocks. These shocks are used for various purposes, such as hunting prey and self-defense.

Blackspotted Electric Ray

3. Winged Swimmers: Rays are renowned for their unique flat body shape, which resembles a pair of wings. This design allows them to gracefully glide through the water, effortlessly maneuvering and often appearing as if they are flying.

 4. Venomous Stingers: Many ray species possess a venomous stinger located at the base of their tail. These stingers are primarily used for defense and can cause painful injuries if stepped on or accidentally touched.

Spotted Eagle Ray

5. Rays Reproduce Differently: Unlike most fish, rays have a unique reproductive system. Instead of laying eggs, female rays give birth to live young. These pups develop within the mother’s body and are nourished through a placental connection until they are ready to be born. 

Next time you encounter a ray, remember these fascinating facts and appreciate the remarkable diversity of these mesmerizing creatures in our oceans!

More about rays you can find in the photo guide Coral Reefs Maldives