Skip to main content Accessibility help

The Spanish hogfish Bodianus rufus (Labridae) acting as cleaner of nocturnal fish in the north-east of Brazil

  • E.O.C. Coni (a1), J.A.C.C. Nunes (a2), C.M. Ferreira (a1), R. Maia-Nogueira (a3) (a4), D.V. Medeiros (a3) (a4) and C.L.S. Sampaio (a5)...


This work reports Bodianus rufus (Labridae) cleaning three clients with nocturnal habits, Rypticus saponaceus (Serranidae), Myripristis jacobus (Holocentridae) and Odontoscion dentex (Sciaenidae) during the day. Our data reinforces the hypothesis that the proximity of temporary cleaning stations to nocturnal fish shelters reduces the exposure of clients to potential predators.


Corresponding author

Correspondence should be addressed to: E.O.C. Coni, Programa de Pós-Graduação Ecologia e Conservação da Biodiversidade, Universidade Estadual da Paraíba Instituto de Gestão, Estudos e Monitoramento Ambiental (IGEMA) email:


Hide All
Altmann, J. (1974) Observational study of behaviour: sampling methods. Behaviour 49, 227265.
Carvalho-Filho, A. (1999) Peixes: costa brasileira. 3rd edition.São Paulo: Edição Melro, 320 pp.
Cheney, K.L., Bshary, R. and Grutter, A.S. (2008) Cleaner fish cause predators to reduce aggression towards bystanders at cleaning stations. Behavioural Ecology 19, 10631067.
Côté, I.M., Arnal, C. and Reynolds, J.D. (1998) Variation in posing behaviour among fish species visiting cleaning stations. Journal of Fish Biology 53 (Supplement A), 256266.
De Loach, N. (1999) Reef fish behavior: Florida, Caribbean, Bahamas. Jacksonville: New World Publications.
Feitoza, B.M., Dias, T.L.P., Rocha, L.A. and Gasparini, J.L. (2002) First record of cleaning activity in the slippery dick, Halichoeres bivittatus (Perciformes: Labridae), off northeastern Brazil. Aqua: Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 5, 7376.
Feitoza, C.V. and Correia, L.B. (2003) Cleaning activity of Bodianus rufus on Clepticus brasiliensis (Actinopterygii–Perciformes). Coral Reefs 22, 10.
Francini-Filho, R.B., Moura, R.L. and Sazima, I. (2000) Cleaning by the wrasse Thalassoma noronhanum, with two records of predation by its grouper client Cephalopholis fulva. Journal of Fish Biology 56, 802809.
Froese, R. and Pauly, D. (eds) (2009) FishBase: a global information system on fishes. Worldwide web electronic publication. Available from
Grutter, A.S. and Poulin, R. (1998) Cleaning of coral reef fishes by the wrasse Labroides dimidiatus: influence of client body size and phylogeny. Copeia 1998, 120127.
Grutter, A.S. (1999) Cleaner fish really do clean. Nature 398, 672673.
Johnson, W.S. and Ruben, P. (1988) Cleaning behavior of Bodianus rufus, Thalassoma bifasciatumGobiosoma evelynae, and Periclimenes pedersoni along a depth gradient at Salt River Submarine Canyon, St Croix. Environmental Biology of Fishes 23, 225232.
Losey, G.S. (1971) Communication between fishes in cleaning symbiosis. In Cheng, T.C. (ed.) Aspects of the biology of symbiosis. Baltimore, MD: University Park Press, pp. 4575.
Losey, G.S. (1974) Cleaning symbiosis in Puerto Rico with comparison to the tropical Pacific. Copeia 1974, 960970.
Losey, G.S. (1987) Cleaning symbiosis. Symbiosis 4, 229258.
Potts, G.W. (1973) The ethology of Labroides dimidiatus (Cuv. & Val.) (Labridae) on Aldabra. Animal Behavior 21, 250291.
Sazima, I., Gasparini, J.L. and Moura, R.L. (1998) The wrasse Halichoeres cyanocephalus (Labridae) as a specialized cleaner. Bulletin of Marine Science 63, 605610.
Sazima, I., Moura, R.L. and Sazima, C. (1999) Cleaning activity of juvenile angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, on the reefs of the Abrolhos Archipelago, western South Atlantic. Environmental Biology of Fishes 56, 399407.
Sazima, I., Sazima, C., Francini-Filho, R.B. and Moura, R.L. (2000) Daily cleaning activity and diversity of clients of the barber goby, Elacatinus figaro, on rocky reefs in southeastern Brazil. Environmental Biology of Fishes 59, 6977.
Sazima, C. and Sazima, I. (2001) Plankton-feeding aggregation and occasional cleaning by adult butterflyfish, Chaetodon striatus (Chaetodontidae), in southwestern Atlantic. Cybium 25, 145151.
Sazima, C., Krajewski, J.P., Bonaldo, R.M. and Sazima, I. (2005) The glassy sweepers' way: seeking a versatile wrasse to be cleaned. Neotropical Ichthyology 3, 119122.
Stachowicz, J.J. (2001) Mutualisms, positive interactions, and the structure of ecological communities. BioScience 51, 235246.
Wicksten, M.K. (1998) Behavior of cleaners and their client fishes at Bonaire, Netherlands Antilles. Journal of Natural History 32, 1330.


The Spanish hogfish Bodianus rufus (Labridae) acting as cleaner of nocturnal fish in the north-east of Brazil

  • E.O.C. Coni (a1), J.A.C.C. Nunes (a2), C.M. Ferreira (a1), R. Maia-Nogueira (a3) (a4), D.V. Medeiros (a3) (a4) and C.L.S. Sampaio (a5)...


Full text views

Total number of HTML views: 0
Total number of PDF views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

Abstract views

Total abstract views: 0 *
Loading metrics...

* Views captured on Cambridge Core between <date>. This data will be updated every 24 hours.

Usage data cannot currently be displayed.