Inhabits coral rich areas of inner lagoons and subtidal reef flats to seaward reefs (Ref. 1602). Feeds on crustacean ectoparasites and mucus of other fishes (Ref. 9823, 48636). Monogamous (Ref. 52884). Stays in stations where other fish come to be cleaned. Cleaning intensity is not related to client size or commonness (Ref. 28019). Cleaning stations are occupied by a pair of adults, a group of juveniles or a group of females accompanied by a dominant male where a female becomes a functional male if the dominant male disappears (Ref. 5503). An unfamiliar visitor is usually greeted by dance-like movements with the tail maneuvering the back part of the body up and down. Juveniles behave this way when divers approach closely (Ref. 48636). A small body size and the presence of a lateral stripes both contribute as long-distance signals of cleaning services for fish clients (Ref. 75868).
- Sano, M., M. Shimizu and Y. Nose 1984 Food habits of teleostean reef fishes in Okinawa Island, southern Japan. University of Tokyo Bulletin, no. 25. v,128p. University of Tokyo Press, Tokyo, Japan. 128 p. (Ref. 6110) http://www.fishbase.org/references/FBRefSummary.php?id=6110&speccode=9950