25 Amazing Photos of Anemonefish from our 2016 Photo Contest
Photography has always been a huge part of Scuba Diving magazine— it's also a way for non-divers to better relate to the underwater world we love so much.
The 2016 Through Your Lens photo contest provided us with some amazing images. Although everyone cannot be a winner, we still had to showcase these stunning photos below. This gallery features one of our favorite underwater critters, the anemonefish.
ANEMONEFISH AND SHRIMP
"While diving in the Philippines I stopped to admire a pretty anemone and one of the tiny cleaner shrimp was giving this anemonefish a quick bath. A second later the shrimp was back in the anemone," says photographer Brandi Mueller.
I FOUND NEMO
Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef
Anemonefish are a subfamily of damsels, and there are approximately two dozen varieties that can be seen in the Tropical Pacific, and about a dozen more that can be sighted in other warm oceans.
Think you have what it takes to win? We are now accepting entries for the 2017 Through Your Lens photo contest. Enter here— and the best part is it's free!
Koh Phi Phi, Thailand
Anemonefish are sequential hermaphrodites — which is a fancy way of saying that they change sex as needed. All anemonefish are born male. In each community of fish on an anemone, only one dominant male and one dominant female engage in reproduction.
Anemonefish do not go on open ocean adventures like Nemo and his dad, but instead, apparently spend their lives on one anemone, or perhaps move to a neighboring anemone when overcrowding becomes an issue.
Michaelmas Cay, Great Barrier Reef
Nemo is a false clown anemonefish (Amphiprion ocellaris), although it is possible that the cartoonists at Disney modeled him after a clown anemonefish — which are slightly more dramatic in coloration, but less common.
An anemonefish peeks through a dark gray anemone. The anemones and the anemonefish share a symbiotic existence, which means that each of them benefit from the presence of the other.
BE MY TONGUE
An exuberant clownfish opens wide for the camera.
Hsiu Ling Wu
Anemonefish can be very frustrating to photograph — many varieties flit about constantly, while others burrow down into their host anemone as soon as a diver approaches, and won’t make an appearance for the duration. Getting a decent shot of these beautiful little fish requires some patience, and luck.
CLOWNFISH AND ISOPOD
Banda Sea, Indonesia
This clownfish encounters an isopod and decides to take matters into its own hands, or in this case, its mouth. Isopods are crustaceans that are sometimes referred to as "pillbugs," because they roll into a ball that looks like a pill.
SUNDOWN AT THE ANEMONE
Clownfish at dusk near Bohol, Phillippines.
Raja Ampat, Indonesia
A spine-cheek anemone fish in a very special anemone in Raja Ampat, Indonesia.
"I wanted a different take on a familiar subject, the False Clown Anemonefish. I used a snoot to capture the fish in a different style. It took a few attempts to get the fish and lighting lined up," says photographer Henley Spiers.
"These two balance each other out," says photographer Joaquin Anico.
Conor Culver interprets the clownfish as part of a stranger environment: the circus.
Papau New Guinea
An anemone fish tucked into its home.
An anemonefish tends to its home.
J. Gregory Sherman
A CLOWNFISH AND HIS SUN
A pair of clownfish inhabit their anemone home as the light shines upon them.
"While diving in Bali we saw several clownfish but no one willing to play and pose like this one," says photographer Arthur Borges.
RAISE THE REEF
Clownfish or anemonefish are fishes from the subfamily Amphiprioninae in the family Pomacentridae.
WELCOME TO MY WORLD
Puerta Gallera, Phillippines
"This particular dive I was focused on watching the large schools of reef fish busily feeding on plankton above the reef wall when this beautiful snow white anemone caught my attention," says photographer Linda McKean. "I dropped down for a closer look and the resident Tomato Anemonefish came close to greet me."
NOT EASY BEING GREEN
Great Barrier Reef
A clownfish swims along the Great Barrier Reef inside its vibrant anemone home.
CAUGHT ORANGE HANDED
Papua New Guinea
"Orange-fin anemonefish captured protecting his anemone in Papua New Guinea using a Nikon D800, 60mm Macro lens," says photographer Kiara Fejer.
Of the over 1,000 anemone species that live in the ocean, only 10 species coexists with the 26 species of tropical clownfish and, within these species, only select pairs of anemone and clownfish are compatible. The relationship captured in this photo is somehow a bit different from the traditional one, as Beaded sea anemones seldom host adult clownfishes, serving just as a temporary host for young clownfish that eventually move to more suitable anemones before reaching adulthood.
SAVE MY HOME
Due to the discoloration of various coral reefs by way of contamination, clownfish and their anemones become affected. Anemones like the one pictured look bleached and white, but anemones should be vibrant and colorful in shades of usually pink, purple, yellow or green.
There are several different varieties of host anemones, which, although they look like exotic plants, are animals themselves. Some anemones that host anemonefish have short tentacles, some are long and spaghetti-like, and still others have bubbles on the tips of their tendrils.
Want more of Nemo and his friends? Check this out!