Labroides dimidiatus Valenciennes, 1839, El Tыr, Sinai Coast, Egypt, Gulf of Suez; Mauritius.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
English: Bridled beauty, cleaner wrasse; French: Bande bleue, nettoyeur а poisson doctиre, poisson nettoyeur commun.
Total length 4.5 in (11.5 cm). Adults mostly light blue, with long black stripe running along each side of body, widening as it approaches the tail. Juveniles black with blue dorsal stripe.
Throughout the Indo-Pacific region, west to the Red Sea and East Africa, north to the southern tip of Japan, and as far east as the Marquesas and Ducie Islands in the south central Pacific Ocean.
Prefers coral reef areas from surface waters to 130 ft (40 m) deep.
Known for its cleaning habits, picking at and removing ectoparasites and assorted detritus on various species of fishes. Individuals or pairs set up stations, where they remove material from the bodies, gills, and even mouths of their “clients.” Stereotyped signals between the two fishes help ensure that the cleaning goes smoothly, and the cleaner does not end up as the client’s dinner.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
Attains bulk of the diet from ectoparasites and detritus on other fishes.
Sometimes lives in pairs, but frequently in harems of one dominant male and 6–10 females. Sex reversal occurs when domi- nant male is removed from a harem. The dominant female assumes his place, and becomes a functional male in about two weeks.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
Common aquarium fish.
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