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08-13-2010, 09:01 AM
Originally Posted by Sir Patrick
^ pretty sure they need to "introduce themselves" to a nem before they can handle their sting.
If I recall right- they quickly develop an imunity of sorts to the stings with some time and a few trys, but not imediate.
If I remember reading right, when they bump into it very lightly their mucus picks up some of the nemacysts (stinging cells) and then their body starts producing mucus with specific cells to block that particular variant of nemacyst.
There is some other study that says their mucus is sugar based rather than protein based so the nem doesn't think it's food brushing up against it and therefore the nemacysts don't "fire", but I'm not sure I buy that theory seeing as how different breeds are immune to different types of anemones, in addition to only hosting in certain types. If nems didn't fire on sugar at all, they should be immediately safe in any nem, which they aren't.
But it defintely is something about their mucus, as they've done tests by removing the mucus coating and then putting the clownfish back in the anemone and it died right away.
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