Anemones and their Inhabitants

Five species of anemonefish inhabit the Marshall Islands, four in the genus Amphiprion and one in Dascyllus. We do not offer an in-depth discussion of sea anemone symbiosis--there are plenty of books* that do a much more thorough job. Suffice it to say that there are several species of fish and a few crustaceans that are able to safely live among the stinging tentacles of sea anemones in a relationship that appears to be beneficial to all parties (or at least to the anemones and the fish). Entries in the table below link to pages on the various anemones or their inhabitants. This is fairly complete (as far as we know) for Marshall Islands anemonefish/anemone relationships, but we have left out (for now) a few additional relationships between crustaceans and these or other anemones. For a somewhat cheesy and confusing graphical image that summarizes the relationships and with links through thumbnails, go here instead. Use the browser's back button to back out of any pages.

Anemonefish

Anemones

Crustaceans

Amphiprion chrysopterus
- in Heteractis crispa
- in Stichodactyla mertensii
Amphiprion melanopus
- in Entacmaea quadricolor
- in Stichodactyla mertensii
Amphiprion perideraion
- in bleached H. magnifica
Amphiprion tricinctus
- in Entacmaea quadricolor
- in Heteractis aurora
- in Heteractis magnifica
- in Heteractis malu
- in Macrodactyla doreensis
- in Stichodactyla haddoni
- in Stichodactyla mertensii
Dascyllus trimaculatus

Cryptodendrum adhaesivum
Entacmaea quadricolor
Heteractis aurora
Heteractis crispa
Heteractis magnifica
- bleached
Heteractis malu
Macrodactyla doreensis
Stichodactyla haddoni
Stichodactyla mertensii
Gnathophyllum americanum
Neopetrolisthes maculata
- in C. adhaesivum
- in Stichodactyla haddoni
Periclimenes brevicarpalis
Periclimenes holthuisi
Thor amboinensis

*Reference:

Fautin, D.G. & G.R. Allen. 1992. Field Guide to Anemonefishes and their Host Sea Anemones. Western Australian Museum, Perth, Western Australia. 160pp.

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