Creole wrasse at a cleaning station

Creole wrasse at a cleaning station

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Credit: GEORGETTE DOUWMA/SCIENCE PHOTO LIBRARY

Caption: Creole wrasse (Clepticus parrae) at a cleaning station. This fish inhabits the tropical western Atlantic Ocean, from Florida, USA, to northern South America. It feeds on zooplankton and small invertebrates and can reach 30 centimetres in length. A cleaning station is a place on the reef where specialised cleaner fish reside. Larger fish visit these sites, and allow the smaller fish to pick parasites from their bodies, often even including the insides of their mouths. The cleaners are never swallowed, even if smaller fish are the primary diet of the fish being cleaned. This is a form of symbiosis. Photographed off Bonaire Island in the Netherlands Antilles, in the Caribbean Sea.

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Keywords: animal, biological, biology, bonaire, caribbean sea, cleaner, cleaning station, clepticus parrae, creole wrasse, fauna, fish, marine, marine biology, mutualism, nature, netherlands antilles, symbiosis, symbiotic, tropical, underwater, wildlife, zoological, zoology

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