First records of cleaning activity in the slippery dick, Halichoeres bivittatus (Perciformes: Labridae), off northeastern Brazil

Bertran M. Feitoza, Thelma L. P. Dias, Luiz A. Rocha and João Luiz Gasparini

aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology, pp. 73-76, Volume 5, Issue 2 – February 2002

Cleaing behaviour is reported in Halichoeres bivittatus for the first time, off Paraíba coast, northeastern Brazil. Six species of clients were cleaned by one to three cleaners, similar in size, in one of two ways: stationary at a cleaning station or whilst swimming over a relatively large area. In each situation, the cleaning events lasted from 2 to 5 seconds. Following behaviour associated with mobile cleaning events was observed and the two activities seem to be related. On the basis of our observations of Halichoeres bivittatus, we consider this labrid to be a “substrate picker”, a non-specialized form of cleaner fish.

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