The Sea Anemone fish Of Lady Elliot Island
When you hear kids form all over the world talking about "Nemo" I wonder if they really know how unique this fascinating little fish is? I wonder if they know how many different colours and sizes they come in.
I have seen 7 types at Lady Elliot Island but after doing my research have discovered that the Damsel Family of which they are part of has 325 different types. Amazing isn't it? When you go looking for them don't be mistaken like many other people are, as they come up to me and say they saw hundreds of them in a school. These are obviously not Sea Anemone fish as they don't school for protection they actually live in a symbiotic relationship with their host Sea Anemone.
So it doesn't matter whether you snorkel at 2nd Reef or Coral Gardens or my favourite "The Lagoon" just start looking for a Sea Anemone. They can be a metre across or smaller than your hand but regardless of size they resemble the old style of mop turned upside down. You may find one of these and think there's nobody home but if you inspect it again I'm sure if you look very carefully you will see Nemo or one of his cousin's head hidden amongst the little ball like heads of the Anemone. Move away a little form it and I can guarantee you that you will eventually see some movement. In my 3 years of snorkelling at Lady Elliot and looking for Sea Anemone fish I have never been disappointed. If you don't want to go too far to see one then get into the fish pool and towards the back left hand corner if you are looking out to sea you will find 4 different sea anemones and surprise, surprise, 4 little Clark's Sea Anemone fish - One in each one. They are so cute. If you don't believe me then have a look of the video of them that I took a year ago.
Every year around about June I go and have a look at my 4 little fish pool anemones and sure enough there they are 4 little wriggling 2 mm long babies. They must move to a bigger sea anemone when they get to about 2 cms long because the whole 4 of them disappear on the same day every year. So enjoy your search for Nemo and if you really want your kids to think you are the best parent in the world, the make sure that you take them with you when you do.