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Biology

Adults inhabit clear, coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs (Ref. 1602). They hide in deserted worm tubes or other small holes when alarmed (Ref. 1602, 48636), bite divers occassionally (Ref. 90102). They feed on the skin, mucus and sometimes scales of other fishes by quick attacks. Oviparous. Eggs are demersal and adhesive (Ref. 205), and are attached to the substrate via a filamentous, adhesive pad or pedestal (Ref. 94114). Larvae are planktonic, often found in shallow, coastal waters (Ref. 94114). Juveniles mimic the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus (Ref. 9710). According to Ref. 53299 they are facultative mimics that change their color: at cleaning stations they mimic the cleaner wrasse and attack unsuspecting customers; elsewhere they adopt an alternative color and striping pattern to conceal themselves among fish shoals from which they can strike at passing fish.

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© FishBase

Source: FishBase

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