The ethology of Crenilabrus melanocercus, with notes on cleaning symbiosis
Potts, G.W. (1968) The ethology of Crenilabrus melanocercus, with notes on cleaning symbiosis. Journal of the Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom, 48 (2). pp. 279-293.
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Off the coasts of the Eastern Aegean Island of Chios underwater observations were made on the labrid Crenilabrus (= Symphodus) melanocercus (Risso). It was found that undisturbed observation could be made from 4 to 5 m away from the fish's territory, but if closer, then diver-orientated behaviour occurred. The fish might inspect the diver, or if alarmed, show fright reactions of different intensities. Conflict situations for the fish sometimes resulted in displacement chaffing. Pursuit caused the fish to show a series of escape reactions depending upon the intensity and persistence of the pursuit. Initially the fish showed avoidance reactions by fleeing or following set 'escape routes'; further pursuit caused it to hide among the eel-grass, Posidonia; and finally aggregation and flight were resorted to. Cleaning symbiotic behaviour is described and C. melanocercus has been seen to approach seventeen different species of fish, of which twelve responded by adopting an invitation posture and by having 'ectophenomena' removed from the body surface. Both pelagic and benthic living species were seen to be cleaned. A further species of Crenilabrus was seen to clean larger individuals of what appeared to be its own species.
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