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Clownfish: new study on white stripes

Nemo, with his characteristic white stripes and his home among the anemones, has become an icon of the seas thanks to the film “Finding Nemo”, but there is more behind these fascinating clownfish

A recent study, published in The Journal of Experimental Biology, revealed that they can distinguish different species of clown fish based on the number of white stripes present on the body. Clownfish, known for their peace and hospitality towards other species, follow a strict rule when it comes to dealing with their own kind. Individuals who are not part of the colony are aggressively welcomed by the larger individual, the so-called “alfa”. The team of researchers conducted experiments to better understand this behavior. They observed the reactions of a colony of clownfish to discs painted with different combinations of white stripes, reflecting the natural variability present between species.

Clownfish: new study on white stripes

Study on clownfish: surprising results

The results revealed that clownfish display aggressive behavior towards peers with the same number of white stripes. The individuals with three stripes, exactly like those of the colony, were faced with greater aggression. On the contrary, i fish with two stripes they were attacked less frequently. Furthermore, the team found that it is the largest individual within the colony that takes on the task of defend other members from possible threats external or intruders.

This study not only reveals the surprising ability of clownfish to distinguish the different species based on the number of stripes, but also raises broader questions about marine ecology. The symbiotic connection between clownfish and sea anemones is just one of the elements that make these ecosystems fascinating. If clownfish can still surprise us with their intricate behaviors, how many more secrets can endangered marine ecosystems hide?

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