Juvenile french angelfish, Pomacanthus paru, are known to be cleaner fish. Cleaning is an interesting mutualistic behavior between 2 individuals where 1 species, the cleaner, removes parasites off a client. In Bonaire however, little has been studied on P. paru specifically. A study of cleaner fish in general was performed in 1998 in Bonaire, but there was only 1 recorded incidence of P. paru cleaning 2 individuals. Juvenile french angels have however, been shown to be a significant part of the cleaner community in Brazil. Data was collected 27 times, for a total of 9.6hrs of direct observation of juvenile french angelfish. The angels spent 19.5% of their time, 1.87hrs, collectively cleaning. Twenty four species were seen cleaned and another 4 species were spotted being serviced while not conducting research. A total of 168 individuals came to be cleaned over 186 separate cleaning sessions. When compared to other studies, these results show that at this study location in Bonaire, juvenile P. paru are an intricate part of the cleaning community.
This student research was retrieved from Physis: Journal of Marine Science III (Spring 2008)19: 19-23 from CIEE Bonaire.