In an article in the latest number of the scientific magazine Nature researchers from Stockholm University have studied how certain fish on the coral reef keep other species of fish clean.
The Bluestreak cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus) helps other fish species by eating parasites from their skin. The cleaner wrasse's favourite food is, however, the nutrient rich mucus layer that covers the client fish.
Bluestreak cleaner wrasses eat parasites that have attached themselves to the client fish - but sometimes the cleaner wrasses can't resist the temptation to take a bite out of the client's mucus layer.
"As it's a painful pinch the client fish ends the co-operation, shakes off the cleaner wrasse and swims away," says Olof Leimar, professor at Stockholm University's Department of Zoology, and leader of the research project.
The cleaning is sometimes carried out by a single fish and sometimes by a pair of fish that together service the same client. The question is if a pair of fish gives better or worse service than a single cleaner wrasse.
"We used a combination of methods - including theoretical models, field observation, and laboratory experiments - in order to map the differences between when the cleaner wrasses work alone or in pairs. Our theoretical model indicates that as long as the cleaner wrasses co-operate and watch each other's behaviour they abstain from taking that tempting bite. In such cases the service for the client fish is better than when the fish work alone. Our field observations and laboratory experiments have shown the same results," says Olof Leimar.
Another interesting dimension is that the pairs always consist of a male and a female - and that the female contributes more than the male to the improved level of service.
"The pattern of behaviour between females and males needs to be studied. The males are larger than the females. If the female takes a forbidden bite the male will often chase the female. This could mean that the different bodily strengths within the pair lead to a repressive situation with the threat of punishment," says Olof Leimar.
For further information contact Olof Leimar, professor, Department of Zoology, tel: 08-16 4056, mobile: 070-285 09 93, email: Olof.Leimar@zoologi.su.se
Image: A pair of Cleaner wrasses (Labroides dimidiatus) clean a Surgeonfish (Acanthurus mata) (640 x 446px 104Kb)
For additional images contact: email@example.com
Maria Sandqvist | idw
When Air is in Short Supply - Shedding light on plant stress reactions when oxygen runs short
23.03.2017 | Institut für Pflanzenbiochemie
WPI team grows heart tissue on spinach leaves
23.03.2017 | Worcester Polytechnic Institute
Astronomers from Bonn and Tautenburg in Thuringia (Germany) used the 100-m radio telescope at Effelsberg to observe several galaxy clusters. At the edges of these large accumulations of dark matter, stellar systems (galaxies), hot gas, and charged particles, they found magnetic fields that are exceptionally ordered over distances of many million light years. This makes them the most extended magnetic fields in the universe known so far.
The results will be published on March 22 in the journal „Astronomy & Astrophysics“.
Galaxy clusters are the largest gravitationally bound structures in the universe. With a typical extent of about 10 million light years, i.e. 100 times the...
Researchers at the Goethe University Frankfurt, together with partners from the University of Tübingen in Germany and Queen Mary University as well as Francis Crick Institute from London (UK) have developed a novel technology to decipher the secret ubiquitin code.
Ubiquitin is a small protein that can be linked to other cellular proteins, thereby controlling and modulating their functions. The attachment occurs in many...
In the eternal search for next generation high-efficiency solar cells and LEDs, scientists at Los Alamos National Laboratory and their partners are creating...
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are less stable. Now researchers at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) have, for the first time ever, produced a composite material combining silicon nanosheets and a polymer that is both UV-resistant and easy to process. This brings the scientists a significant step closer to industrial applications like flexible displays and photosensors.
Silicon nanosheets are thin, two-dimensional layers with exceptional optoelectronic properties very similar to those of graphene. Albeit, the nanosheets are...
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to simulate these confined natural conditions in artificial vesicles for the first time. As reported in the academic journal Small, the results are offering better insight into the development of nanoreactors and artificial organelles.
Enzymes behave differently in a test tube compared with the molecular scrum of a living cell. Chemists from the University of Basel have now been able to...
20.03.2017 | Event News
14.03.2017 | Event News
07.03.2017 | Event News
23.03.2017 | Life Sciences
23.03.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering
23.03.2017 | Earth Sciences