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Cleaner Fish

February 20, 2012 by staff 

Cleaner Fish, Cleaner fish are fish that provide a service to other fish species by removing dead skin and ectoparasites. This cleaning symbiosis is an example of mutualism, an ecological interaction that benefits both parties involved.

A wide variety of fishes have been observed to display cleaning behaviors including wrasses, cichlids, catfish, and gobies, as well as by a number of different species of cleaner shrimp.

By convergent evolution, different species of cleaner fish often resemble each other. There is also at least one predatory mimic, the sabre-toothed blenny, that mimics cleaner fish but in fact feeds on healthy scales and mucus.

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