A small fish, especially a striped wrasse, that is permitted to remove parasites from the skin, gills, and mouth of larger fishes, to their mutual benefit.
- Genus Labroides, family Labridae: several species.
- At fish-cleaning stations, cleaner fish nibble the parasites from the gills and mouths of fishes much larger than they are.
- Closer to the reef, divers will be attracted by the hive of activity - wrasses, damselfish, butterflyfish and cleaner fish dart about foraging for food among the hard corals.
- The larger fish not only refrain from devouring these small cleaner fish, but actually readily open their mouth and gill cavities so that they are able to clean.
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