Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse

Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse Labroides dimidiatus

Type of Animal:

Reefs, shallow coral outcrop areas, coral reef lagoons, coral rich areas, subtidal reef flats, reef terraces, tide pools, found in depths of 3.28-131.234 ft


Very small wrasse w/ wide longitudinal black stripe running along side/eye, white to slightly yellowish back/stomach, black band widens at tail, blue around body, younger fish black w/ electric blue line, smooth compressed elongate body w/ pointed snout

Parasites, crustaceans, copepod larvae, mucus/mucus coats, slime coats, necrotic/dead tissue, scabs, damaged scales, fish mouth/body/fin debris, daphnia, squid, clams, scallops, cyclopeeze, rotifers, lobster eggs, seaweed sheets, seaweed strips, nori

Status in Wild:

Monitoring removal of fish from wild for aquarium trade

Cleaning station territories consist of male & harem of around 16 females. Juveniles have cleaning stations of their own. These fish all born female w/ largest/most dominant fish becoming male. If male dies/leaves, most dominant female becomes male. If no females around, subordinate males can revert to being females.

Additional Info:

Young: Fry
Group: School/Shoal

Life Span:
3-4 years

Body Length:
Male: 5 in
Female: 3.9 in

Get name due to setting up cleaning stations. These fish work stations during day, eating any parasites in/on fish &cleaning fish body/gills/mouth. Visitors to these stations known as “clients” & clientele includes all fish in area as well as predatory fish like eels, sharks, & groupers. Sea turtles also come to these areas. Due to cleaning services, these small fish have virtually no predators.
Cleaner wrasse relationships w/ clients great example of mutualism-wrasse gets a meal & client gets nice cleaning.
These fish extremely important in keeping other animals as well as ecosystem healthy by removing potentially dangerous parasites.
Also called Cleaner Wrasse, Cleanerfish, Common Cleaner Wrasse, Bluestreak Cleaner Fish, Blue Diesel Wrasse, Bridled Beauty, & Gadfly Fish.
During spawning, male performs mating dance to attract/stimulate females.
Cleaning peak takes place in morning.
Sex change from female to male lasts a day.

Fun Fact(s):
Larger clients prioritized over smaller clients due to risk/number of parasites.
Single wrasse/sub-group works for 4 hours, cleaning more than 2,000 clients in that time period.
For their small size, they’re very intelligent fish.
Main character in 2004 movie Shark Tale a bluestreak cleaner wrasse named Oscar.
Males punish female wrasse that cheat clients by eating mucus since males are dominant & get 1st choice to food.

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