Juvenile Thalassoma amblycephalum Bleeker (Labridae, Teleostei) dwelling among the tentacles of sea anemones: a cleanerfish with an unusual client?

Arvedlund, Michael, Iwao, Kenji, Brolund, Thea Marie, and Takemura, Akihiro (2006) Juvenile Thalassoma amblycephalum Bleeker (Labridae, Teleostei) dwelling among the tentacles of sea anemones: a cleanerfish with an unusual client? Journal of Experimental Marine Biology and Ecology, 329 (2). pp. 161-173.

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Abstract

At least 51 species of fishes are facultative symbionts of sea anemones. Most of the behavioural, ecological and physiological aspects of these associations including their costs and benefits are unknown. We recorded the behaviour and the habitat use of eight assemblages (three or ten specimens each) of the juvenile wrasse Thalassoma amblycephalum dwelling among the tentacles of the two sea anemones Entacmaea quadricolor (clonal type), and Heteractis magnifica at a coral reef in southern Japan during 16 months in daylight hours. There are only two past records of this facultative association, one from east Africa and one from Indonesia. The wrasse remained close to and was occasionally in physical contact with the host when foraging amongst the tentacles. When frightened, they took shelter among corals, away from the host anemone. The wrasse co-existed with the anemonefishes Amphiprion frenatus in E. quadricolor and A. ocellaris in H. magnifica. By using forced host contact tests ex situ and scanning electron microscopy examination of the fish epidermis, we show that juveniles of this wrasse are protected from E. quadricolor, but possibly not from H. magnifica. We suggest that juvenile T. amblycephalum dwelling among the tentacles of sea anemones are cleanerfish with an unusual client, in that they appear to clean mucus and, or, necrotic tissue from the sea anemone host.

Item ID: 3902
Item Type: Article (Refereed Research - C1)
Keywords: Anthozoa; cnidae discharge; facultative symbionts; high latitude coral reef; sea anemone symbiosis
ISSN: 0022-0981
Date Deposited: 19 Nov 2009 05:35
SEO Codes: 96 ENVIRONMENT > 9608 Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity > 960808 Marine Flora, Fauna and Biodiversity @ 100%
Citation Count from Web of Science Web of Science 5
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