Cochleoceps orientalis Hutchins, 1991, Big Island, off Wollongong, New South Wales, Australia.
OTHER COMMON NAMES
Small, tadpole-shaped body with rounded caudal fins and a moderately sized sucker disc. There are 5–6 dorsal fin soft rays and 4–6 anal fin soft rays. Color pattern is tiny brown to red spots on an orange to yellow or greenish-yellow background; irridescent blue dashes, lines, or spots occur on the dorsum. Grows to 2.2 in (5.5 cm) in length.
Southwest Pacific from central New South Wales south to eastern Victoria, Australia.
Occurs on sponges or ascidians on deeper temperate rocky reefs and on kelp or seaweed in shallower subtidal habitats. Found as deep as 33 ft (10 m).
In addition to its cleaning
, this species probably is territorial.
FEEDING ECOLOGY AND DIET
A cleanerfish, it feeds upon ectoparasites plucked from various species of fishes.
Poorly known, but females deposit eggs on algae within a male’s territory, and both parents provide care.
Not listed by the IUCN.
SIGNIFICANCE TO HUMANS
May be collected infrequently for aquaria.
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