Cleaner fish - Wikipedia
All these species play a role in the reef ecosystem; some fish provide food for One of the most striking examples of symbiosis involves the cleaner wrasse. The bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, can be found on coral reefs throughout the Indo-Pacific. These little fish live in small groups on cleaning . By removing bloodsucking parasites, the cleaner wrasse improves the At particular sites, an itchy individual can attract the attention of the On the de- wrassed reefs, the total number of fish species halved, and their In many ways, they're the glue that cements the relationship between the cleaners and.
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Cooperation in the cleaner fish-client mutualism
Grutter Find articles by Alexandra S. Received Feb 8; Accepted May Copyright Waldie et al. This is an open-access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original author and source are properly credited. This article has been cited by other articles in PMC. Associated Data Table S1: Statistical results for fish abundance, species richness, and Simpson's diversity index analyses.
Species list of site-attached resident fishes surveyed. Species list of juvenile visitor fishes surveyed.
Species list of adult visitor fishes surveyed. Experimental reefs with number of cleaner fish present or removed. Furthermore, mechanisms that may shift fish community structure in the presence of cleaning organisms are unclear. This is the first study to demonstrate a benefit of cleaning behaviour to client individuals, in the form of increased size, and to elucidate potential mechanisms leading to community-wide effects on the fish population.
Many of the fish groups affected may also indirectly affect other reef organisms, thus further impacting the reef community.
The large-scale effect of the presence of the relatively small and uncommon fish, Labroides dimidiadus, on other fishes is unparalleled on coral reefs. Cleaning behaviour has been used as a classic example of mutualism and, recently, to test cooperation theory .
Cooperation in the cleaner fish-client mutualism - Social Evolution and Behaviour Lab
This is one of the few cases in which varying species of fish actually inhabit the same space without becoming territorial or aggressive with each other. It's clear that these fish have one thing on their mind when they line up at the cleaning station: Easily distinguished by a bright blue and yellow band, the cleaner wrasse makes an effort to advertise its services by performing a dance. Likewise, when a fish wants to be "cleaned" it sends specific signals to the wrasse, such as keeping its body stationary, while spreading its fins and gills and opening its mouth.
If the wrasse picks up on the signal it will begin the cleaning process on its customer, which is usually a larger fish.
Cleaning consists of the wrasse swimming over the entire body of its customer, eating parasites from the fins and gills. The wrasse will even go inside the mouth and clean between the teeth of its customer. Interestingly enough, the wrasse is rarely injured or eaten by the other fish; the wrasse vibrates its fins while cleaning to remind its customer of its presence. Moreover, the cleaned animal will frequently defend the cleaning station and its cleaners from attack by would-be predators.
Almost all marine species are actively involved in close symbiotic relationships with at least one other species in their community. The unique relationship between the cleaner wrasse and the fish it cleans at the "cleaning stations" are an important and impressive example of symbiosis. Not only does the satisfied customer leave parasite free, but also the wrasse enjoys a protein rich meal.