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Relative Importance of Cleaning Behaviour in Centrolabrus Exoletus and other Wrasse at Arrábida, Portugal

  • Miguel Henriques (a1) and Vitor C. Almada (a2)


Underwater behavioural observations were conducted to evaluate the relative importance of cleaning behaviour in three species of common north-eastern Atlantic wrasse (Teleostei: Labridae). At the study site, the only cleaner was Centrolabrus exoletus. A total of 12 species was cleaned, with the wrasse, Symphodus melops and Labrus bergylta being the species most frequently cleaned. Neither S. melops nor Ctenolabrus rupestris, known to be cleaners in other sites or in captivity, could be observed cleaning other fishes. Centrolabrus exoletus was found to be a facultative cleaner fish with cleaning acts representing only 7% of the observed feeding acts. In focal observations of host fishes, the incidence of cleaning acts reached a level (11 h-1 per host) similar to that reported for tropical reef fishes and probably reflects the high numbers of cleaners available. Some factors that may affect the origin of the cleaning interactions are discussed.



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Relative Importance of Cleaning Behaviour in Centrolabrus Exoletus and other Wrasse at Arrábida, Portugal

  • Miguel Henriques (a1) and Vitor C. Almada (a2)


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