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FAQs on Genus Labroides Cleaner Wrasses Identification

Related Articles: Cleaner Wrasses

Related FAQs: Labroides 1Labroides 2Labroides Behavior, Labroides Selection, Labroides Compatibility, Labroides Feeding, Labroides Systems, Labroides Disease, Labroides Reproduction, Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,   Labroides dimidiatus (Valenciennes 1839), the common or Blue Cleaner Wrasse

Faked out by a "cleaner wrasse"  8/27/05 Well, wouldn't ya know... yep, I got faked out by a mimic "cleaner wrasse". I though something was up by the way my flasher wrasse was acting towards him, ( it didn't "flash" at anyone else). Quick, to WWM for the answer to what's going on! Turns out its a saber-tooth blenny. <Ah, Aspidontus... happens, though not often> After having to COMPLETELY breakdown my reef to catch the little guy and place him in the fuge temporarily, now what? I like him a lot and would love to keep him, but feeding the fuge is not good. Do I trade him in, knowing that he'll just do the same thing to someone elses fish? <Ah, no> Please give me some advise on this dilemma. I'd be heartbroken to send him to a watery grave in the bathroom!! Thanks for your guidance in advance, Allegra <... "look before you leap"... or purchase livestock? When we find these mixed in with Labroides, they're removed and destroyed... not suitable for aquarium use with other fishes... could try keeping in your refugium. Bob Fenner>

Re: Faked out by a "cleaner wrasse" 8/29/05 Hi again Bob (or fellow WWM guru), I did put the little fella into the fuge, although I think putting food in is counter-productive to its use. The reason why I'm replying again is that I was checking out more of the questions posted about real cleaner wrasses, and there were some folks that mentioned theirs were doing well on supplemental foods, such as Mysis, etc...even Nori. There was no mention that their fish may be a saber-tooth, <Would not be... these will invariably terrorize other fishes...> just that it was an unusual case. Mine also feeds on everything as well, including the Nori strip I put in. In fact he's the only one that does eat it. Its hard for me to tell the difference in the mouth from the pictures here, so are we truly safe to say that I do have a saber-tooth blenny and not an unusually hardy cleaner wrasse? <Seen side by side, these fishes are easily told apart... See fishbase.org, the Net/Google pix...> PS. Thanks for the quick reply, very impressive! <Welcome. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner Wrasse..?  Nope, Probably a Mimic! Hi, I recently purchased a cleaner wrasse, I think, I was just wondering what are the differences between the real cleaner wrasse and the false one. Also I have a 9cm maroon clown female and she doesn't like the cleaner wrasse coming near it or trying to clean it and tries to bite it, what is the problem?  <The false cleaners actually take hunks of meat off the fish it is supposedly servicing. James (Salty Dog)> 

Cleaner Wrasse or.. Why Not Satisfied with Previous Answer? Don't Keep Resending! Hi, I recently purchased a cleaner wrasse, I think, I was just wondering what are the differences between the real cleaner wrasse and the false one? <When referring to cleaner wrasses you probably mean Labroides dimidiates, a small black\white\blue wrasse that eats parasites (among other things) off of other fish. The 'false cleaner wrasse' (Aspidontus taeniatus taeniatus), instead of providing parasite removal, nips other fish and proceeds to nip at fins, scales, and anything else that looks tasty on the host fish. Neither of these fish should be purchased for the home aquarium. The 'true' cleaner wrasse will starve to death in a matter of weeks, as no home aquarist can provide it with enough parasite infected fish to meet it's dietary needs, and it rarely accepts alternatives> Also I have a 9cm maroon clown female and she doesn't like the cleaner wrasse coming near it or trying to clean it and tries to bite it what is the problem? <Clownfish in the wild rarely if ever accept\need the services of a cleaner wrasse - if it is indeed a 'true' cleaner wrasse. My advice is to return the fish, and stay away from cleaner wrasses completely. M. Maddox> 

Juvenile purple wrasses? Bob, <Lee> I bought 3 juvenile purple wrasses, at my local wholesalers. Thinking they were Hawaiian cleaner wrasses. <?> I am now worried because I have 12 cleaner shrimps in my 240 gallon tank. I pray that these wrasses will not grow up and eat my shrimps. What do you think? Also do you know the scientific names of these wrasses?? Thanks again.  Lee <Umm, not familiar with the common name "purple wrasses"... neither is fishbase.org... But, a few things to impart... I would NOT put three Labroides spp. wrasses in this size system... I would definitely research all purchases ahead of acquisition... and I WOULD definitely quarantine all new livestock... You're playing the petfish equivalent of Russian Roulette my friend. Bob Fenner>

Cleaner wrasse (Maybe not...) Bob, Two weeks ago I bought a common cleaner wrasse. He's thriving in my 240 F.O system. It also has some live rock. Anyhow he eats everything frozen formula, romaine lettuce. He also loves to clean all of my fishes. My problem is when he's cleaning my fish. It seems like sometimes the wrasse is hurting the fish. Because When he cleans , some of the fish turn around and chase after him. My wrasse is very active. And now some of the fish seem to keep away from him. And the wrasse sometimes chases after the fish, wanting to clean them. When they really don't want to be cleaned. Any reason why this is happening?? <Could be that the wrasse is simply over-eager (this happens with "too few customers", but could be that you don't have a cleaner wrasse at all, but a Saber Tooth Blenny (Aspidontus taeniatus)... Put this name in FishBase.org: http://www.fishbase.org/ and look at the image, description... the mouth in this mimic is subterminal (underslung) compare/d with Labroides dimidiatus (the Cleaner...). Check out the coverage on our site: http://wetwebmedia.com/labroide.htm and associated FAQs pages...  My buddy has a cleaner wrasse, and seems to be experiencing the same prob. Thanks. <You may both want/need to trade these specimens in... and use other cleaner species. See the www.WetWebMedia.com site here re your possibilities. Bob Fenner> Lee

Re: cleaner wrasse Hi Bob, I just looked at your wetweb media sight. In your marine fish section. I was looking at the pics of the saber tooth blennies. I don't think my common blue cleaner wrasse is a saber tooth. I can clearly distinguish the diff. In patterns. <In... patterns? Of what? Their markings are almost identical... See Nick Dakin's Tetra Marine Book... they even have them misidentified. The mouth is the salient character difference. Bob Fenner>

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