cleaner wrasse

noun

Definition of cleaner wrasse

:any of a genus (Labroides) of small tropical wrasses found typically on coral reefs of the Indian and Pacific oceans that clean larger fish (such as surgeonfish) of parasites and dead tissue
  • It has been known that a small fish called the cleaner wrasse eats parasites off larger reef fish and that it sometimes sneaks a nibble of skin mucus.
  • —T. A. Frail et al.SmithsonianSeptember 2011
  • Customers respond by suspending their normal predatory instincts and hanging almost in a trance, mouths and gills open, while the cleaner wrasses work—often swimming inside the mouths of larger fishes to find the parasites.
  • —John VandenbeldNature of Australia1988

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First Known Use of cleaner wrasse

1963


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