The bluestreak cleaner wrasse is a small carnivorous fish that is known for its symbiotic relationship with bigger fishes in the seas and oceans. These fish live in tropical waters and thrive in a reefy habitat.
These small fish belong to the Labroides family which includes the Hawaiian cleaner wrasse (Labroides phthirophagus) and the Bicolor cleaner wrasse (Labroides bicolor) among others. Like their relative species, bluestreaks eat parasites and dead tissues from the skin of larger fishes in a relationship that is mutual in nature, as the bigger fish provide them with protection from predators in exchange for the cleaning service.
Wrasses are a great addition to aquarists as they are one of the best ways to keep your tank clean due to them only eating parasites, worms, and other harmful pests and insects that cause harm to the other fish in the tank. Another factor adding to them thriving in tanks and aquariums is that other bigger fish are usually tolerant of them and will not attack or bully them thanks to their usefulness!
If you like these true facts about bluestreak cleaner wrasse, then you'll surely like these facts about spiny dogfish and catfish.
Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse
What do they prey on?
Copepods, invertebrates, parasites
What do they eat?
Average litter size?
How much do they weigh?
How long are they?
3.9 in (10 cm)
How tall are they?
What do they look like?
Wet, Slimy scales
What are their main threats?
What is their conservation status?
Where you'll find them
Coral and rocky reefs
Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Western Pacific
Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse Interesting Facts
What type of animal is a bluestreak cleaner wrasse?
A bluestreak cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) is a saltwater fish that is one of the several cleaner wrasse species that are found in the coral reef habitats. Among the five species that include the common cleaner wrasse, the bluestreak cleaner wrasse is one of the best-known cleaner fish as they thrive in aquariums and community tanks.
These fish have a symbiotic relationship with other bigger fish species as they set up 'cleaning stations' and invite other fish and clean them of parasites and dead tissues.
What class of animal does a bluestreak cleaner wrasse belong to?
The bluestreak cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) belongs to the class of Actinopterygii, it is a ray-finned fish. Actinopterygii is divided into two different classes Cladistia and Actinopteri. Actinopterygians comprise almost 30,000 species of fishes including piranha and other species.
How many bluestreak cleaner wrasses are there in the world?
The exact population of the bluestreak cleaner wrasse cannot be stated due to a lack of data. Their population is largely in nature as they are found all across the world and are an important part of the global marine ecosystem.
Where does a bluestreak cleaner wrasse live?
The bluestreak cleaner wrasse is a saltwater fish that inhabits tropical waters.
What is a bluestreak cleaner wrasses' habitat?
The bluestreak cleaner wrasse is found mostly in the Indo-Pacific waters. Its range extends from the coral reef regions of Eastern Africa and the Red Sea to French Polynesia. These small fish are found at a low depth of 1-30 m (3.2-98.4 ft) and inhabit inner lagoons, outer reefs, and reef terraces.
Who does bluestreak cleaner wrasse live with?
The bluestreak cleaner wrasse is a social group of fish as they are mostly found living in groups. This group usually consists of one dominant male with a group of females. In case the dominant male dies, the most dominant female will become its replacement and in a period of over 24 hours, the female will change her sex and become a male.
How long does a bluestreak cleaner wrasse live?
These small cleaner fish have a lifespan of four years in captivity, in the wild, their lifespan is unknown.
How do they reproduce?
Cleaner wrasses usually follow the external fertilization procedure. In this case, the female will release his eggs into the water and the male will inseminate them.
Mating occurs at twilight with large males defending their reef territories. These males will attract multiple females by performing a mating dance. Females will spawn with the male in their territory. The fertilized eggs of these fish will form planktonic larvae that are free moving with the current of the ocean. In case the dominant males die, the dominant female will take over and become male in the next 24 hours, assuming the territory and the females.
What is their conservation status?
Currently, the bluestreak cleaner wrasse is listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. Bluestreak cleaner wrasse on coral reefs is a common sight as these fish thrive in this condition, feeding off of the dead tissues and parasites of much larger fish.
These fish are also common as pets and due to this, their population keeps increasing as breeders breed these fish and play a part in their conservation.
Bluestreak Cleaner Wrasse Fun Facts
What do bluestreak cleaner wrasses look like?
Bluestreak cleaners are a species of small fish that have a slender elongated body. This smooth, compressed, elongated body comes with a pointed snout, with a small mouth and prominent lips. Bluestreak cleaner wrasse teeth come with two canines under their jaws that they use to tear flesh.
Wrasses have a rounded caudal fin and a dorsal fin consisting of nine spines and 9-11 rays with anal fins that have two to three spines and 9-10 rays. The head of these fish is scaleless.
They are blue in color with a jet black band that runs from the tip of their snout to the end of their tail which gives them the name 'bluestreak'.'
How cute are they?
These small fish are adorable in nature and are playful and full of energy! Their presence in an aquarium is delightful as their jet-black streak makes them pretty to look at!
How do they communicate?
These fish communicate with each other through tactile and chemical methods. When they need to get other fish into their cleaning station for cleaning, wrasses will move their rear up and down as a means to let them know that they will clean them.
How big is a bluestreak cleaner wrasse?
The bluestreak cleaner wrasse is a small species of fish and can grow a maximum of 3.9 in (10 cm). In comparison, the humphead wrasse grows to 39.6-78 in (100.6-198 cm), which is almost 10 times the size of the bluestreak cleaner wrasse.
How fast can a bluestreak cleaner wrasse move?
Cleaner wrasses are agile fish and love to spend their time swimming around in their habitat looking for client fish to feed off of. However, there is no evident recorded data for how fast they can swim and thus their swimming speed cannot be stated.
How much does a bluestreak cleaner wrasse weigh?
Due to a lack of data, the exact weight of these wrasses cannot be stated.
What are the male and female names of the species?
No particular name has been assigned to either sex of this fish.
What would you call a baby bluestreak cleaner wrasse?
A baby bluestreak cleaner wrasse, like most other fish babies, is called a fry. These fries are usually all black but have a streak on the lower, upper, and back caudal rays that are pale in comparison to the adults.
What do they eat?
These cleaner wrasses are carnivorous in nature and their diet consists primarily of shrimps, copepods (small crustaceans), and other invertebrates that they feed off of from the mouths and gills of client fish, they also feed on free-swimming crustaceans occasionally.
Contrary to popular belief, these fish cannot end an ich infestation in your tank as they do not eat ich and will only get infected and will succumb to the ich infestation and die.
Are they poisonous?
No, these fish are not poisonous. They are docile in nature and harmless to humans and other fish.
Would they make a good pet?
Yes! These fish make an excellent pet! They are, however, not for beginners as they are hard to maintain.
You can get these fish from pet stores or on the internet for anywhere between $20-40 USD, however, due to a low success rate of keeping them alive, they are not recommended for a home tank or aquarium.
These fish are extremely difficult to keep and are recommended only for expert aquarists who know what they are doing. Of all Labroides species, the best survivable species is this cleaner wrasse. Bluestreak cleaners don't require specific tank conditions and only need the basic requirements to thrive in a community tank. A minimum of 70 gal (15.4 l) tank size should be provided for them as they are an active species and love to spend their time swimming around, also, do remember to put a fitting lid on the tank or they will jump out of the tank!
Their tank should have a water pH value of 8.1-8.4 for a proper ecosystem with lots of rocks and grasses for them to hide in. These fish need to be added at last in a community tank due to their unique diet pattern. Also, you have to make sure you don't add more than one male in a tank as the males are territorial and will fight other males, it is recommended to keep a single male with females in a pair of adults and juvenile wrasses.
Did you know...
A single wrasse can work for four hours a day and in that time, can inspect more than 2,000 clients at their cleaning station!
Some fish mimic cleaner wrasses as a means to feed themselves! A blenny species, Aspidontus taeniatus, also known as the false cleanerfish will imitate the wrasse bluestreak cleaner and get into the mouth of other bigger fish and tear small pieces of their skin or flesh instead of getting rid of the parasites!
Another species, the bluestreak fangblenny, will imitate juvenile cleaner wrasse to get closer to other fish and take advantage of their feeding habits.
Unlike other cleaner species like the cleaner shrimp, wrasses do not harass corals which makes them great for reef tanks that require a cleaner species.
Bluestreak wrasses are hermaphrodites, meaning they have the reproductive organs of both males and females.
Why are they called bluestreak cleaner wrasses?
Bluestreak cleaners are a brilliant blue color with a jet black stripe that runs from their snout and ends at their tail fin. This blue and black combination that resembles a streak is why they are known as 'bluestreak'.
Bluestreak cleaners have a symbiotic relationship with other larger fish species as they pick and eat parasites off of the scales and gills of these larger fishes, this cleaning habit earned them the name 'cleaner fish'. Wrasses set up a cleaning station where the larger fish come to get themselves cleaned. In return for the cleaning procedure, they are provided a certain degree of protection from predatory fishes. Bluestreak cleaner wrasse enemies can be anglers and frogfish.
Can we eat them?
There is no record of these fish being eaten by humans so it is difficult to say if they are edible or not.
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