Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Pairs of cleaner wrasses work together to give better service on the coral reef

28.10.2008
Co-operation in nature works often as an exchange of goods or services between two different parties.

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: press@su.se

Maria Sandqvist | idw
Further information:
http://www.vr.se

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht New risk factors for anxiety disorders
24.02.2017 | Julius-Maximilians-Universität Würzburg

nachricht Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers
24.02.2017 | Johannes Gutenberg-Universität Mainz

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Breakthrough with a chain of gold atoms

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

In the field of nanoscience, an international team of physicists with participants from Konstanz has achieved a breakthrough in understanding heat transport

Im Focus: DNA repair: a new letter in the cell alphabet

Results reveal how discoveries may be hidden in scientific “blind spots”

Cells need to repair damaged DNA in our genes to prevent the development of cancer and other diseases. Our cells therefore activate and send “repair-proteins”...

Im Focus: Dresdner scientists print tomorrow’s world

The Fraunhofer IWS Dresden and Technische Universität Dresden inaugurated their jointly operated Center for Additive Manufacturing Dresden (AMCD) with a festive ceremony on February 7, 2017. Scientists from various disciplines perform research on materials, additive manufacturing processes and innovative technologies, which build up components in a layer by layer process. This technology opens up new horizons for component design and combinations of functions. For example during fabrication, electrical conductors and sensors are already able to be additively manufactured into components. They provide information about stress conditions of a product during operation.

The 3D-printing technology, or additive manufacturing as it is often called, has long made the step out of scientific research laboratories into industrial...

Im Focus: Mimicking nature's cellular architectures via 3-D printing

Research offers new level of control over the structure of 3-D printed materials

Nature does amazing things with limited design materials. Grass, for example, can support its own weight, resist strong wind loads, and recover after being...

Im Focus: Three Magnetic States for Each Hole

Nanometer-scale magnetic perforated grids could create new possibilities for computing. Together with international colleagues, scientists from the Helmholtz Zentrum Dresden-Rossendorf (HZDR) have shown how a cobalt grid can be reliably programmed at room temperature. In addition they discovered that for every hole ("antidot") three magnetic states can be configured. The results have been published in the journal "Scientific Reports".

Physicist Dr. Rantej Bali from the HZDR, together with scientists from Singapore and Australia, designed a special grid structure in a thin layer of cobalt in...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Booth and panel discussion – The Lindau Nobel Laureate Meetings at the AAAS 2017 Annual Meeting

13.02.2017 | Event News

Complex Loading versus Hidden Reserves

10.02.2017 | Event News

International Conference on Crystal Growth in Freiburg

09.02.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Stingless bees have their nests protected by soldiers

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

New risk factors for anxiety disorders

24.02.2017 | Life Sciences

MWC 2017: 5G Capital Berlin

24.02.2017 | Trade Fair News

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>