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Relationship between roving behaviour and the diet and client composition of the cleaner fish Labroides bicolor

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Diet analyses and observations of cleaning behaviour of two cleaner fishes revealed that Labroides bicolor fed more on client mucus, but Labroides dimidiatus fed more on ectoparasites, and that L. bicolor interacted with fewer species (36 species) compared with L. dimidiatus (44 species). The client species which contributed most to the dissimilarity between cleaner species were the dusky farmerfish Stegastes nigricans and bicolor chromis Chromis margaritifer damselfishes, which L. dimidiatus interacted with more often than L. bicolor, and the striated Ctenochaetus striatus and brown Acanthurus nigrofuscus surgeonfishes, which L. bicolor interacted with more; L. bicolor interacted with all parrotfishes (Scaridae) more. These results confirm the importance of repeated interactions and partner choice in determining the nature of interactions in mutualisms.
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Document Type: Regular Paper

Publication date: 2012-07-01

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