Possible Cleaning Behavior by a Juvenile California Sheephead, Semico ssyphus pulcher (Labridae)
Coyer, James A.
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Cleaning behavior has been observed in a number of marine fishes inhabiting the nearshore waters of California. This group includes six species of embiotocids, two species of labrids, two species of kyphosids, one pomacentrid, and one scorpidid (Limbaugh 1955, 1961; Feder 1966; Gotshall 1967; Turner et al. 1969; Hobson 1969, 1971, 1976; Hixon 1979; DeMartini and Coyer 1981). These fishes possess a small mouth and are generalized (sensu Hobson 1971) "substrate-pickers" or "plankton-pickers" as juveniles or adults. For some of these species, cleaning behavior is confined to the juvenile phase and/or to relatively few, specialized individuals (Hobson 1971; DeMartini and Coyer 1981). This note reports possible cleaning by a juvenile California sheephead, Semicossyphus pulcher (formerly Pimelometopon pulchrum), a behavior previously unreported for this species.