Anemonefish by Linda L. Rutherford
© 2014 Linda L. Rutherford

    • Title: Anemonefish
    • Artist: Linda L. Rutherford
    • From: Montara, CA USA

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    Artist Statement

    "There are always many challenges when I photograph underwater. This fish swims rapidly, taking unpredictable directions in and out of the tentacles of its host anemone. A water current was flowing against everything. That means the fish, the background and myself were all moving.

    "I feel privileged when I get eye-to eye with a fish that is swimming rapidly in evasive maneuvers. The fish (Amphiprion melanopus) also known as the 'Cinnamon Clownfish', is swimming within a soft coral colony (Entacmaea quadricolor) of 'Bubble-Tip Anemone' that has venom-filled tentacles. The venom makes the anemone unappealing to most fish as a food source.

    "In this photograph, we see two different life forms cooperating, i.e., symbiosis. Our fish has a protective mucus layer that makes it immune to the anemone sting. The anemone provides the fish with shelter and defense against predators. In return, this fish provides protection and nutrients for its host anemone. If you remove this type of fish from its host, large butterfly fishes will eat the anemone."