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 Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves
17.08.2018 | Leibniz Universität Hannover

nachricht First transcription atlas of all wheat genes expands prospects for research and cultivation
17.08.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Pflanzengenetik und Kulturpflanzenforschung

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Color effects from transparent 3D-printed nanostructures

New design tool automatically creates nanostructure 3D-print templates for user-given colors
Scientists present work at prestigious SIGGRAPH conference

Most of the objects we see are colored by pigments, but using pigments has disadvantages: such colors can fade, industrial pigments are often toxic, and...

Im Focus: Unraveling the nature of 'whistlers' from space in the lab

A new study sheds light on how ultralow frequency radio waves and plasmas interact

Scientists at the University of California, Los Angeles present new research on a curious cosmic phenomenon known as "whistlers" -- very low frequency packets...

Im Focus: New interactive machine learning tool makes car designs more aerodynamic

Scientists develop first tool to use machine learning methods to compute flow around interactively designable 3D objects. Tool will be presented at this year’s prestigious SIGGRAPH conference.

When engineers or designers want to test the aerodynamic properties of the newly designed shape of a car, airplane, or other object, they would normally model...

Im Focus: Robots as 'pump attendants': TU Graz develops robot-controlled rapid charging system for e-vehicles

Researchers from TU Graz and their industry partners have unveiled a world first: the prototype of a robot-controlled, high-speed combined charging system (CCS) for electric vehicles that enables series charging of cars in various parking positions.

Global demand for electric vehicles is forecast to rise sharply: by 2025, the number of new vehicle registrations is expected to reach 25 million per year....

Im Focus: The “TRiC” to folding actin

Proteins must be folded correctly to fulfill their molecular functions in cells. Molecular assistants called chaperones help proteins exploit their inbuilt folding potential and reach the correct three-dimensional structure. Researchers at the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry (MPIB) have demonstrated that actin, the most abundant protein in higher developed cells, does not have the inbuilt potential to fold and instead requires special assistance to fold into its active state. The chaperone TRiC uses a previously undescribed mechanism to perform actin folding. The study was recently published in the journal Cell.

Actin is the most abundant protein in highly developed cells and has diverse functions in processes like cell stabilization, cell division and muscle...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

LaserForum 2018 deals with 3D production of components

17.08.2018 | Event News

Within reach of the Universe

08.08.2018 | Event News

A journey through the history of microscopy – new exhibition opens at the MDC

27.07.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

Smallest transistor worldwide switches current with a single atom in solid electrolyte

17.08.2018 | Physics and Astronomy

Robots as Tools and Partners in Rehabilitation

17.08.2018 | Information Technology

Climate Impact Research in Hannover: Small Plants against Large Waves

17.08.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>