Innate Recognition by Host Fish of their Cleaning Symbiont

Authors

  • George S. Losey Jr,

    Corresponding author
    1. Department of Zoology and Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
    2. Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort
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  • Jeffrey L. Mahon,

    1. Department of Zoology and Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
    2. Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort
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  • Bret S. Danilowicz

    1. Department of Zoology and Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu
    2. Duke University Marine Lab, Beaufort
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Dept of Zoology and Hawaii Institute of Marine Biology, University of Hawaii, Honolulu, HI 96822, USA.

Abstract

Naive damselfish, Dascyllus albisella, were tested for their initial response to the Hawaiian cleaning wrasse, Labroides phthirophagus. Contrary to some current theory, some individuals, including both lab-reared and wild-caught fish, showed a full ‘pose’ response to visual stimuli from the cleaner without prior tactile stimulation, while others failed to show this response even after 4 d of exposure to visual and tactile stimuli. These individual differences could have resulted from innate differences or uncontrolled variables in their experience.

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