The clownfish preys on parasites that threaten the sea anemone in a mutually beneficial relationship where the anemone provides food scraps and protects the clownfish from potential predators, such as sharks. Before inhabiting the dwelling of a sea anemone, the clownfish first touches the tentacles of the anemone for familiarity.
A clownfish secretes a specialized mucus to protect from itself from the dangerous stings of the sea anemone. The clownfish lives in the tropical waters of the Indian Ocean, Red Sea and the western Pacific. All clownfish are born male but can change sex when necessary. Once this sex change is made, it is permanent. Clownfish sometimes live in communities headed by an alpha female.