Bluestreak cleaner wrasse

The bluestreak cleaner wrasse, Labroides dimidiatus, is one of several species of cleaner wrasses found on coral reefs from Eastern Africa and the Red Sea to French Polynesia. Like other cleaner wrasses, it eats parasites and dead tissue off larger fishes' skin in a mutualistic relationship that provides food and protection for the wrasse, and considerable health benefits for the other fishes.[2][3][4]

Bluestreak cleaner wrasse
Scientific classification
L. dimidiatus
Binomial name
Labroides dimidiatus
(Valenciennes, 1839)
  • Cossyphus dimidiatus Valenciennes, 1839
  • Labroides paradiseus Bleeker, 1851
  • Callyodon ikan Montrouzier, 1857
  • Labroides bicincta Saville-Kent, 1893
  • Labroides caeruleolineatus Fowler, 1945


It is a small wrasse averaging 10 cm long (14 cm max). It can be recognized thanks to a wide longitudinal black stripe running along the side and eye; the back and the stomach are white (sometimes slightly yellowish). This white part evolves towards a bright blue on the front of the animal, while the black band widens at the tail.

The young are black with an electric blue line.

Labroides dimidiatus 164
Labroides dimidiatus se préparant à déparasiter Chaetodon vagabundus
Sweetlips wrasse Nick Hobgood
Acanthurus tennentii Labroides dimidiatus


XRF-Labroides dimidiatus

Cleaner wrasses are usually found at cleaning stations. Cleaning stations are occupied by different units of cleaner wrasses, such as a group of youths, a pair of adults, or a group of females accompanied by a dominant male. When visitors come near the cleaning stations, the cleaner wrasses greet the visitors by performing a dance-like motion in which they move their rear up and down.[5] The visitors are referred to as "clients". Bluestreak cleaner wrasses clean to consume ectoparasites on client fish for food. The bigger fish recognise them as cleaner fish because they have a lateral stripe along the length of their bodies,[6] and by their movement patterns. Cleaner wrasses greet visitors in an effort to secure the food source and cleaning opportunity with the client. Upon recognising the cleaner and successfully soliciting its attention, the client fish adopts a species-specific pose to allow the cleaner access to its body surface, gills and sometimes mouth. Other fish that engage in such cleaning behavior include goby fish (Elacatinus spp.)[7]

Cleaner wrasse with a client

L. dimidiatus with a client surgeonfish at a cleaning station.

Giant Moray Eel getting cleaned

Moray eels need a lot of cleaning

Cleaner station komodo

Video of L. dimidiatus cleaning the gills of Acanthurus mata.

"Fake" cleaner wrasse but true sabre-teeth blenny : Aspidontus taeniatus.

Some fish mimic cleaner wrasses. For example, a species of blenny called Aspidontus taeniatus has evolved the same behavior to tear small pieces of flesh or skin from bigger fish rather than rid them of parasites. Another species, the bluestreak fangblenny, Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos, mimics juvenile cleaner wrasse so its presence is tolerated by the cleaners, which, it is assumed, enables it to take advantage of the concentration of potential victims.[8]


  1. ^ Shea, S. & Liu, M. 2010. Labroides dimidiatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. < Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine>. Downloaded on 10 November 2013.
  2. ^ Côté, I.M. (2000). "Evolution and ecology of cleaning symbioses in the sea". Oceanography and Marine Biology: An Annual Review. 38 (1): 311–355.
  3. ^ Johnsom, M.L. (2012). "High street cleaners". Biodiversity Science.
  4. ^ Sims, C.A.; Riginos, C.; Blomberg, S.P.; Huelsken, T.; Drew, J.; Grutter, A.S. (2013). "Cleaning up the biogeography of Labroides dimidiatus using phylogenetics and morphometrics". Coral Reefs. 33: 223–233. doi:10.1007/s00338-013-1093-2.
  5. ^ Froese, Ranier. "Labroides dimidiatus". FishBase. Retrieved 16 September 2013.
  6. ^ Stummer, L.E.; Weller, J.A.; Johnson, M.L. & Côté, I.M. (2005). "Size and stripes: how clients recognise cleaners". Animal Behaviour. 68 (1): 145–150. doi:10.1016/j.anbehav.2003.10.018.
  7. ^ M.C. Soares; I.M. Côté; S.C. Cardoso & R.Bshary (August 2008). "The cleaning goby mutualism: a system without punishment, partner switching or tactile stimulation" (PDF). Journal of Zoology. 276 (3): 306–312. doi:10.1111/j.1469-7998.2008.00489.x.
  8. ^ Johnson, Magnus & Hull, Susan (2006). "Interactions between fangblennies (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos) and their potential victims: fooling the model rather than the client?". Marine Biology. 148 (1): 889–897. doi:10.1007/s00227-005-0118-y.

Further reading

External links

Aggressive mimicry

Aggressive mimicry is a form of mimicry in which predators, parasites or parasitoids share similar signals, using a harmless model, allowing them to avoid being correctly identified by their prey or host. Zoologists have repeatedly compared this strategy to a wolf in sheep's clothing. In its broadest sense, aggressive mimicry could include various types of exploitation, as when an orchid exploits a male insect by mimicking a sexually receptive female (see pseudocopulation), but will here be restricted to forms of exploitation involving feeding. An alternative term Peckhamian mimicry (after George and Elizabeth Peckham) has been suggested, but is seldom used. The metaphor of a wolf in sheep's clothing can be used as an analogy, but with the caveat that mimics are not intentionally deceiving their prey. For example, indigenous Australians who dress up as and imitate kangaroos when hunting would not be considered aggressive mimics, nor would a human angler, though they are undoubtedly practising self-decoration camouflage. Treated separately is molecular mimicry, which shares some similarity; for instance a virus may mimic the molecular properties of its host, allowing it access to its cells.

Aggressive mimicry is opposite in principle to defensive mimicry, where the mimic generally benefits from being treated as harmful. The mimic may resemble its own prey, or some other organism which is beneficial or at least not harmful to the prey. The model, i.e. the organism being 'imitated', may experience increased or reduced fitness, or may not be affected at all by the relationship. On the other hand, the signal receiver inevitably suffers from being tricked, as is the case in most mimicry complexes.

Aggressive mimicry often involves the predator employing signals which draw its potential prey towards it, a strategy which allows predators to simply sit and wait for prey to come to them. The promise of food or sex are most commonly used as lures. However, this need not be the case; as long as the predator's true identity is concealed, it may be able to approach prey more easily than would otherwise be the case. In terms of species involved, systems may be composed of two or three species; in two-species systems the signal receiver, or "dupe", is the model.

In terms of the visual dimension, the distinction between aggressive mimicry and camouflage is not always clear. Authors such as Wickler have emphasized the significance of the signal to its receiver as delineating mimicry from camouflage. However, it is not easy to assess how 'significant' a signal may be for the dupe, and the distinction between the two can thus be rather fuzzy. Mixed signals may be employed: aggressive mimics often have a specific part of the body sending a deceptive signal, with the rest being hidden or camouflaged.

Bluestriped fangblenny

Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos, commonly called the bluestriped fangblenny, is a species of combtooth blenny found in coral reefs in the Pacific and Indian ocean. This species reaches a length of 12 centimetres (4.7 in) SL. It is also known as the bluestriped blenny, bluestriped sabretooth blenny, blunt-nose blenny, cleaner mimic, tube-worm blenny or the two-stripe blenny. They hide in deserted worm tubes or other small holes.

The fangblenny is a specialised mimic of juvenile bluestreak cleaner wrasse. Those fish serve as cleaners to larger host fish, which attend to have ectoparasites removed. The fangblenny does no cleaning, but bites the host fish and leaves. Its opioid-containing venom helps it escape, as it gives a pain-free bite which also dulls the host's reactions.

Cheating (biology)

Cheating is a term used in behavioral ecology and ethology to describe behavior whereby organisms receive a benefit at the cost of other organisms. Cheating is common in many mutualistic and altruistic relationships. A cheater is an individual who does not cooperate (or cooperates less than their fair share) but can potentially gain the benefit from others cooperating. Cheaters are also those who selfishly use common resources to maximize their individual fitness at the expense of a group. Natural selection favors cheating, but there are mechanisms to regulate it.

Cleaner fish

Cleaner fish are fish that provide a service to other species by removing dead skin and ectoparasites. Although the animal being cleaned typically is another fish, it can also involve aquatic reptiles (sea turtles and marine iguana), mammals (manatees and whales) or octopuses. The cleaning symbiosis is an example of mutualism, an ecological interaction that benefits both parties involved. However, the cleaner fish may sometimes cheat and consume mucus or tissue, thus creating a form of parasitism. A wide variety of fish including wrasse, cichlids, catfish, pipefish, and gobies display cleaning behaviors. Similar behavior is found in other groups of animals, such as cleaner shrimps.

Cleaner fish advertise their services with conspicuous coloration, often displaying a brilliant blue stripe that spans the length of the body. This adaptation has evolved independently in different species of cleaner fish, making it an example of convergent evolution. Other species of fish, called mimics, imitate the behavior and phenotype of cleaner fish to gain access to client fish tissue. This is another example of convergent evolution.

Cleaning symbiosis

Cleaning symbiosis is a mutually beneficial association between individuals of two species, where one (the cleaner) removes and eats parasites and other materials from the surface of the other (the client). Cleaning symbiosis is well-known among marine fish, where some small species of cleaner fish, notably wrasses but also species in other genera, are specialised to feed almost exclusively by cleaning larger fish and other marine animals. Other cleaning symbioses exist between birds and mammals, and in other groups.

Cleaning behaviour was first described by the Greek historian Herodotus in about 420 BC, though his example (birds serving crocodiles) appears to occur only rarely.

The role of cleaning symbioses has been debated by biologists for over thirty years. Some believe that cleaning represents selfless co-operation, essentially pure mutualism, increasing the fitness of both individuals. Others such as Robert Trivers hold that it illustrates mutual selfishness, reciprocal altruism. Others again believe that cleaning behaviour is simply one-sided exploitation, a form of parasitism.

Cheating, where either a cleaner sometimes harms its client, or a predatory species mimics a cleaner, also occurs. Predatory cheating is analogous to Batesian mimicry, as where a harmless hoverfly mimics a stinging wasp, though with the tables turned. Some genuine cleaner fish, such as gobies and wrasse, have the same colours and patterns, in an example of convergent evolution. Mutual resemblance among cleaner fish is analogous to Müllerian mimicry, as where stinging bees and wasps mimic each other.

False cleanerfish

The false cleanerfish (Aspidontus taeniatus) is a species of combtooth blenny, a Batesian mimic that copies both the dance and appearance of Labroides dimidiatus, a similarly colored species of cleaner wrasse. Likely mimicking the bluestreak cleaner wrasse to avoid predation, as well to occasionally bite the fins of its victims rather than consume parasites. Most veiled attacks occur on juvenile fish, as adults that have been attacked in the past may avoid or even attack A. taeniatus.It is indigenous to coral reef habitats in the Indo-Pacific.

Hawaiian cleaner wrasse

The Hawaiian cleaner wrasse or golden cleaner wrasse (Labroides phthirophagus), is a species of wrasse (genus Labroides) found in the waters surrounding the Hawaiian Islands. The fish is endemic to Hawaii. These cleaner fish inhabit coral reefs, setting up a territory referred to as a cleaning station. They obtain a diet of small crustacean parasites by removing them from other reef fish in a cleaning symbiosis.

Indianapolis Zoo

The Indianapolis Zoo is located in White River State Park, in Indianapolis, Indiana, United States.

The Indianapolis Zoo is an institution accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and the American Alliance of Museums as a zoo, an aquarium, and as a botanical garden. The zoo is a private non-profit organization, receiving no tax support and is supported entirely by membership fees, admissions, donations, sales, grants, and an annual fundraiser.


Labroides is a genus of wrasses native to the Indian and Pacific Oceans. This genus is collectively known as cleaner wrasses, and its species are cleaner fish.

Labroides bicolor

Labroides bicolor is a species of wrasse endemic to the Indo-Pacific, Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean and is known by various names including bicolor cleanerfish, bicolor cleaner wrasse, bicolored cleaner wrasse, bicolour cleaner wrasse, cleaner wrasse, two-colour cleaner wrasse and yellow diesel wrasse.

List of fictional fish

This is a list of fictional fish from literature, animation and movies. This also includes sharks, shellfish (though they are mollusks, not fish), and eels. Whales, seacows and dolphins are aquatic mammals, not fish, and are therefore excluded.

List of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos

The marine waters of the Houtman Abrolhos, an island chain off the coast of Western Australia, are unusual in containing a mix of tropical, subtropical and warm-temperate fish species. This mix is largely due to the Leeuwin Current, which brings warm tropical water to the Houtman Abrolhos, especially in winter. Tropical species are the most abundant, eleven of the sixteen most abundant species being tropical fishes. However, there are also a large number of tropical species with populations so small that they are thought not to maintain populations be breeding at the Houtman Abrolhos.

Odell Down Under

Odell Down Under is a game for the PC and Macintosh that takes place in the Great Barrier Reef. It is the sequel to Odell Lake.

Sex ratio

The sex ratio is the ratio of males to females in a population. In most sexually reproducing species, the ratio tends to be 1:1. This tendency is explained by Fisher's principle. For various reasons, however, many species deviate from anything like an even sex ratio, either periodically or permanently. Examples include parthenogenic species, periodically mating organisms such as aphids, some eusocial wasps such as Polistes fuscatus and Polistes exclamans, bees, ants, and termites.The human sex ratio is of particular interest to anthropologists and demographers. In human societies, however, sex ratios at birth may be considerably skewed by factors such as the age of mother at birth, and by sex-selective abortion and infanticide. Exposure to pesticides and other environmental contaminants may be a significant contributing factor as well. As of 2014, the global sex ratio at birth is estimated at 107 boys to 100 girls (1000 boys per 934 girls).

Shark Tale

Shark Tale is a 2004 American computer-animated comedy film produced by DreamWorks Animation and directed by Vicky Jenson, Bibo Bergeron and Rob Letterman. The first computer-animated film by DreamWorks Animation to be produced at the Glendale studio, the film stars Will Smith, Robert De Niro, Renée Zellweger, Angelina Jolie, Jack Black, and Martin Scorsese. Other voices were provided by Ziggy Marley, Doug E. Doug, Michael Imperioli, Vincent Pastore and Peter Falk. It tells the story of a fish named Oscar (Smith) who falsely claims to have killed the son of a shark mob boss (De Niro) to advance his own community standing.

Shark Tale opened at #1 with $47.6 million, which was the second-highest opening for a DreamWorks Animation film at the time, behind Shrek 2 ($108 million). It remained as the #1 film in the U.S. and Canada for its second and third weekends, and made $367 million worldwide against its $75 million budget. It was also nominated for the Academy Award for Best Animated Feature.

Tasselled wobbegong

The tasselled wobbegong (Eucrossorhinus dasypogon) is a species of carpet shark in the family Orectolobidae and the only member of its genus. It inhabits shallow coral reefs off northern Australia, New Guinea, and adjacent islands. Reaching 1.8 m (5.9 ft) in length, this species has a broad and flattened body and head. Its most distinctive trait is a fringe of branching dermal flaps around its head, which extends onto its chin. The fringe, along with its complex color pattern of small blotches and reticulations, enable it to camouflage itself against the reef environment.

During the day, the solitary tasselled wobbegong can generally be found lying inside caves or under ledges with its tail curled. Individual sharks tend to remain within a local area and have favored resting spots. While resting, it opportunistically ambushes nearby fishes and invertebrates, and also lures in prey by waving its tail to mimic the appearance of a small fish. At night, it emerges and actively forages for food. This species is aplacental viviparous, though little is known of its life history. The tasselled wobbegong has been reported to bite and kill humans unprovoked; attacks may result from people accidentally disturbing the shark or being misperceived as prey. The International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) has listed this species as Near Threatened, as outside of Australia it is threatened by fisheries and habitat degradation.

Tropicarium Kolmården

Tropicarium Kolmården is a public aquarium and terrarium, situated outside Kolmården Wildlife Park, close to Bråviken and 25 km (16 mi) from Norrköping town in Sweden. Kolmården Tropicarium is one of Sweden's largest tropical exhibitions with a covered area in excess of 2,000 m2 (22,000 sq ft).


The wrasses are a family, Labridae, of marine fish, many of which are brightly colored. The family is large and diverse, with over 600 species in 81 genera, which are divided into 9 subgroups or tribes.

They are typically small fish, most of them less than 20 cm (7.9 in) long, although the largest, the humphead wrasse, can measure up to 2.5 m (8.2 ft). They are efficient carnivores, feeding on a wide range of small invertebrates. Many smaller wrasses follow the feeding trails of larger fish, picking up invertebrates disturbed by their passing. Juveniles of some representatives of the genera Bodianus, Epibulus, Cirrhilabrus, Oxycheilinus, and Paracheilinus hide among the tentacles of the free-living mushroom coral Heliofungia actiniformis.The word "wrasse" comes from the Cornish word wragh, a lenited form of gwragh, meaning an old woman or hag, via Cornish dialect wrath. It is related to the Welsh gwrach and Breton gwrac'h.

This page is based on a Wikipedia article written by authors (here).
Text is available under the CC BY-SA 3.0 license; additional terms may apply.
Images, videos and audio are available under their respective licenses.