Fish that Take Care of Reef ’s Health

In each ecosystem there are species that play some of the basic roles. Some are producers, others are consumers, and others carry out the important work of decomposing and reintegrating organic matter into the substrate to continue with the cycle. However, you can also find species that play such specialized roles that it seems that we are talking about professions typically found in human societies. We invite you to learn about two species of fish that play very particular roles.


Neon goby:
Cheney, Karen L., Alexandra S. Grutter, Simon P. Blomberg, and N. Justin Marshall. “Blue and Yellow Signal Cleaning Behavior in Coral Reef Fishes”.
Current Biology 19, 1283–1287 (2009), (Consultado el 19 de mayo de 2020)
Dunkley, Katie, Jo Cable, and Sarah E. Perkins. “The selective cleaning behaviour of juvenile blue-headed wrasse (Thalassoma bifasciatum) in the
Caribbean”. Behavioural Processes 147 (2018): 5–12.
Froese, Rainer, and Susan M. Luna. Editors. 2019. “Elacatinus oceanops.” FishBase. World Wide Web. (Consultado el 19 de mayo de 2020)
McEachran, John D., and Janice D. Fechhelm. Fishes of the Gulf of Mexico, Volume 2: Scorpaeniformes to Tetraodontiformes. United States of America:
University of Texas Press, 2005.

Princess parrotfish:
Bellwood, David R., and J. Howard Choat. A functional analysis of grazing in parrotfishes (family Scaridae): the ecological implications. Netherlands: Kluwer
Academic Publishers, 1990.
Lunar, Susana M., and modifided by Rodolfo B. Reyes. “Scarus taeniopterus.” FishBase. World Wide Web. (Consultado el 19 de mayo de 2020)
Lindholm, James, Ashley Kaufman, Les Kaufman, and Steven Miller. “Site Fidelity and Movement of the Parrotfishes Scarus coeruleus and Scarus taeniopterus at Conch reef (northern Florida Keys)”. Caribbean Journal of Science 42, no 1 (2006),
Movement_of_the_Parrotfishes_Scarus_coeruleus_and_Scarus_taeniopterus_at_Conch_Reef_northern_Florida_Keys. (Consultado el 19 de mayo de 2020)