Dixson and Hay (2012) documented a remarkable mutualistic relationship between the Broad-barred Goby and the coral Acropora nasuta. Broad-barred Gobies are recruited by the coral to keep it free of the green filamentous macroalga Turtleweed (Chlorodesmis fastigiata), which can harm the coral. Within minutes of Turtleweed (or even a chemical extract from the Turtleweed) contacting the coral, the coral releases an odor that recruits gobies to snack on the Turtleweed and dramatically reduce coral damage that would otherwise occur. Broad-barred Gobies normally produces toxic skin secretions that repel predators and contact with the Turtleweed appears to increase their toxicity.
- Dixson, D.L. and M.E. Hay. 2012. Corals chemically cue mutualistic fishes to remove competing seaweeds. Science 338: 804-807.
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