Cleaning symbioses from the parasites' perspective

  title={Cleaning symbioses from the parasites' perspective},
  author={Alexandra Sara Grutter},
  pages={65 - 81}
  • A. Grutter
  • Published 24 September 2002
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • Parasitology
Cleaning behaviour has generally been viewed from the cleaner or client's point of view. Few studies, however, have examined cleaning behaviour from the parasites' perspective, yet they are the equally-important third players in such associations. All three players are likely to have had their evolution affected by the association. As cleaner organisms are important predators of parasites, cleaners are likely to have an important effect on their prey. Little, however, is known of how parasites… 

New perspectives on the role of cleaning symbiosis in the possible transmission of fish diseases

This review identifies knowledge gaps and develops novel hypotheses on the interrelationship between parasites, hosts and the environment (disease triangle concept), with a particular emphasis on the potential role of cleaner organisms as hosts and/or transmitters of parasites.

Are cleaner fish clean?

This study surveyed the parasite community of the Indo-Pacific cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus, and compared it to other wrasses from the same region, providing new evidence for a potential role of wild cleaner fish as vectors of parasites to new clients, which highlights potential costs associated with cleaning symbiosis.

Cleaner fishes and shrimp diversity and a re-evaluation of cleaning symbioses

Cleaning symbiosis as originally defined is amended to highlight communication between client and cleaner as the catalyst for cooperation and to separate cleaning symbiosis from incidental cleaning, which is a separate mutualism preceded by no communication.

Do ectoparasites determine cleaner fish abundance? evidence on two spatial scales

It is hypothesised that obligate cleaner fish, which rely almost exclusively on ectoparasites gleaned from clients, should be more abundant in areas rich in their preferred prey, namely parasitic gnathiid isopod larvae.

Long-Term Effects of the Cleaner Fish Labroides dimidiatus on Coral Reef Fish Communities

This is the first study to demonstrate a benefit of cleaning behaviour to client individuals, in the form of increased size, and to elucidate potential mechanisms leading to community-wide effects on the fish population.

The Ecological Significance of Parasitic Crustaceans

This chapter should demonstrate to readers that there are still far more questions than answers about the role of parasitic Crustacea in aquatic systems, but based on what the authors know today, they can say they are likely one of the most critical players in aquatic ecosystem dynamics.

Temperate facultative cleaner wrasses selectively remove ectoparasites from their client-fish in the Azores

This study is the first to demonstrate that temperate facultative cleaner fish species actively and selectively inspect and remove ectoparasites from their client-fish species.

Grouping behaviour impacts on the parasitic pressure and squamation of sharks

This work establishes a quantitative framework for inferring parasitic pressure and social interaction from squamation traits and provides an empirical basis from which to explore these phenomena through early vertebrate and chondrichthyan evolution.



Evolution and ecology of cleaning symbioses in the sea

The taxonomic distribution of cleaning behaviour is examined, to assess the magnitude and generality of various costs and benefits to cleaners and their clients in order to gain insights into the evolution of these symbioses, and the role of cleaning in structuring fish communities is evaluated.

Parasite infection rather than tactile stimulation is the proximate cause of cleaning behaviour in reef fish

  • A. Grutter
  • Environmental Science, Biology
    Proceedings of the Royal Society of London. Series B: Biological Sciences
  • 2001
It is shown for the first time, which is somewhat surprising, that parasite infection alone causes clients to seek cleaning by cleaners and provides insight into how this behaviour evolved.

The evolution of virulence: a unifying link between parasitology and ecology.

  • P. Ewald
  • Biology
    The Journal of parasitology
  • 1995
A fundamental change in the view of host/parasite evolution promises to transform perspectives and research programs in parasitology and the health sciences and is still in progress, largely because of the viscosity at the interface between disciplines.

The Ecological Importance of Cleaning Symbiosis

  • G. Losey
  • Biology, Environmental Science
  • 1972
The removal of most of the cleaner fish, Labroides phthirophagus, from a reef resulted in an increase in ceaning behavior by the remaining cleaners and changes in the behavior and distribution of the

Relationship between cleaning rates and ectoparasite loads in coral reef fishes

Observations revealed that larger fish, which have more parasites, were inspected more often and for longer periods than smaller fish with fewer parasites, suggesting that parasites play an important role in fish cleaning interactions.

Parasite removal rates by the cleaner wrasse Labroides dimidiatus

The high predation rate relative to the number of gnathiids on fish and their infection rate shows that cleaner fish have an effect on the abundance of Gnathiid isopods on fish.


Cleaning symbiosis among shore fishes was studied during 1968 and 1969 in southern California, with work centered a t La Jolla. Three species are habitual cleaners: the seAoriF, Ozyjulis californica;

Models of Parasite Virulence

  • S. Frank
  • Biology
    The Quarterly Review of Biology
  • 1996
Standard models of parasite virulence are summarized and connected to diverse topics, such as the virulence of bacterial plasmids, the evolution of genomes, and the processes that influence conflict and cooperation among the earliest replicators near the origin of life.