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Intraspecific cleaning by juvenile Cape white seabream <i>Diplodus capensis</i> (Sparidae) off eastern South Africa

P.C. Sikkel
N.J. Smit


Juveniles of the Cape white seabream Diplodus capensis were observed cleaning adult conspecifics in a large tidepool off Sodwana Bay, South Africa. Although nine other tropical fish species were present and interacted with a nearby pair of Labroides cleaner wrasses, only adults of D. capensis posed for and were cleaned by the D. capensis juveniles. Such cleaning interactions have not been reported previously for this species or among marine fishes off South Africa, and thus add to the growing list of facultative cleaners globally.

Keywords: cleaner wrasse, client fish, coral reef, ectoparasites, ethology, facultative cleaner, microcarnivore, temperate reef