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Possible Cases of Cleaning Symbiosis Among Freshwater Fishes

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... Fish spp. (various) Worldwide Abel (1971), Arndt (1973), Feder (1966, Powell (1984), Spall (1970), Sulak (1975) Fish-Fish Marine fish spp. (various) Fish spp. ...
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While antagonistic species interactions such as predation or competition have a long history of study, positive inter‐species interactions have received comparatively little attention. Mutualisms and commensalisms appear to be widespread in the animal kingdom, with examples of mammals, birds, fish, and reptiles from around the world engaging with other species in evidentially beneficial ways. Cleaning mutualism is a specific type positive inter‐species interaction in which one species removes and feeds upon parasites infesting the other. Here, we document a new subset of positive inter‐species “cleaning” interactions, in which one partner benefits from and reduces the abundance of pest species attracted by but not attached to their host. We observed in person and in camera trap footage numerous instances of insectivorous bats associating with white‐tailed deer (Odocoileus virginianus) and feeding on the swarms of biting flies attracted to these large mammals. We call for the increased reporting of positive inter‐species associations to better our understanding of the mechanisms leading to the formation of these interactions and the effects that these relationships may for the structuring of ecological communities.
... Records for freshwater fish species are not so common. Despite the detailed naturalistic description of African cichlids made by Stauffer (1991), their freshwater occurrence has mainly been based on fortuitous field observations or under laboratory conditions (Spall 1970;Wyman & Ward 1972;Powell 1984). The neotropical freshwater fish fauna is composed of about 4500 species (Reis et al. 2003), but there have been only two reports of cleaning behaviour (Sazima & Machado 1990;Carvalho et al. 2003). ...
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Cleaning interactions are known among several groups of fishes, with a higher number of records for marine fish species. These temporary associations occur between one species that acts as the cleaner and the other species as the client. The interaction usually takes place within the boundaries defined by the cleaner. This site, known as the cleaning station, allows the client fish to strike a typical pose allowing the cleaner to approach, such as wide-open fins and inclined, motionless body. Few studies have reported on the cleaning behaviour of freshwater fish species, and none has reported on behaviour that could be interpreted as establishing a cleaning station. Herein we present a new record of the cleaning interaction in the Neotropics, between the cichlid Mesonauta festivus as the cleaner and three species of anostomid (Leporinus macrocephalus, Leporinus friderici and Schizodon borellii) as clients on Pantanal wetlands, as well as the establishment of a defined cleaning station.
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Cleaning symbiosis has been documented extensively in the marine environment over the past 50 years. We estimate global cleaner diversity comprises 208 fish species from 106 genera representing 36 families and 51 shrimp species from 11 genera representing 6 families. Cleaning symbiosis as originally defined, is amended to highlight communication between client and cleaner as the catalyst for cooperation, and to separate cleaning symbiosis from incidental cleaning, which is a separate mutualism preceded by no communication. Moreover, we propose the term “dedicated” to replace “obligate” to describe a committed cleaning lifestyle. Marine cleaner fishes have dominated the cleaning symbiosis literature, with comparatively little focus given to shrimp. The engagement of shrimp in cleaning activities has been considered contentious because there is little empirical evidence. Plasticity exists in the use of “cleaner shrimp” in the current literature, with the potential to cause significant confusion. Indeed, this term has been used incorrectly for the shrimp Infraorder Stenopodidea, involving three families, Stenopodidae, Palaemonidae, and Hippolytidae, and to represent all members of Lysmata and Stenopus. Caution is expressed in the use of grey literature and anecdotal observations to generate data on cleaning interactions, due to the presence of species complexes. Interest in cleaning organisms as biological controls in aquaculture is increasing due to their value as an alternative to various chemical ectoparasite controls. Reports of the importance of cleaner organisms in maintaining a healthy reef ecosystem has also been increasing and we review the current biological knowledge on cleaner-organisms, highlighting areas that are understudied.
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A case of interspecific cleaning behaviour is described between a cichlid host Tilapia rendalli rendalli and a Juvenile cyprinid Labeo cylindricus, in captivity. The host fish initiated the cleaning behaviour with a ‘head down’ display.
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Cleaning behavior was observed in the laboratory among cyprinodontid fishes parasitized with monogenetic trematodes and leeches.Fundulas majalis elicited cleaning behavior fromCyprinodon variegatus by, assuming a head-down position with compensatory fin movements. In a high intensity display the host may be completely vertical with an S-shaped curve to the body. When picked at by the cleaner, the host may jerk and swim away but often returns to pose again in the invitation position.Cyprinodon variegatus andLucania parva were observed to clean intraspecifically. In each case the invitation to be cleaned consists of a head-up pose with compensatory fin movements. Occasionally intraspecific soliciting of cleaning occurs.Cyprinodon variegatus also cleansL. parva. These invitation poses may have evolved from intraspecific appeasement or submissive postures to serve for interspecific communication.
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Argulus flavescens and A. appendiculosus were collected from five fish species in two major Ohio river basins during August-October, 1994. The golden redhorse, Moxostoma erythrurum, is a new host record for Argulus. The 1994 records as well as past host and distribution records of Argulus in Ohio and Lake Erie (U.S. and Canadian waters) have been compiled. Six species, A. flavescens, A. appendiculosus, A. lepidostei, A. stizostethii, A. americanus, and A. calostomi have been recorded from 15 Ohio fish species.
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Intraspecific cleaning behaviour of diseased juvenile Cyprinus carpio L, in experimental tanks in Wuxi, China has been observed and is described.
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Juvenile gray (Pomacanthus arcuatus) and French (P. paru) angelfish cleaned other fish and the observers' wounds in Florida's inshore waters where host species commonly congregate. Comparisons between the behavior of these facultative cleaners and published descriptions of obligate and other facultative cleaners suggested twelve specific questions about the control and function of cleaning symbiosis. Die auffälligen schwarz-gelb gestreiften Jungtiere von Pomacanthus arcuatus und Pomacanthus paru (Chaetodontidae) wurden vor der Küste Floridas beobachtet, wie sie andere Fischarten und die Wunden der Beobachterin putzten. Das Putzen geschah in flachem, verhältnismäßig stillem Wasser, wo die Putzgäste sich normalerweise auch ohne Putzfische versammelten. Die Putzgäste zeigten keine besonderen Aufforderungsstellungen, blieben aber für kurze Zeit bewegungslos, während der Putzfisch ihre Hinterflanke bearbeitete. Meist ging eine “Besichtigung” voraus, wobei der Putzer den Putzgast mit seinen Bauchflossen berührte. Das Abpicken war weder für die Putzfischart, den Putzgast noch für das Putzfressen spezifisch. Vergleiche mit anderen veröffentlichten Beschreibungen versuchen, verschiedene Fragen zu dieser Putzsymbiose zu beantworten. Die Vielfalt des Putzverhaltens könnte durch den Grad der Abhängigkeit der Putzerfische von dieser Tätigkeit für ihre Ernährung erklärt werden.
Article
Parent-touching behavior by young fishes occurs in a number of species. Most reports have been from the family Cichlidae, but this may reflect the major concentration of studies on these species. The behavior appears to serve a trophic function in many species, but may also serve to maintain cohesion of family groups, to keep adults in a parental state, or to communicate the motivational state of the young (e.g. fear, hunger). It has been suggested that prolactin may regulate the behavior and epidermal mucus condition in parental fish involved in such behavior, but the evidence is not conclusive. There appear to be similarities between cases of parent-touching as a trophic behavior, and mucus- and/or scale-feeding by cleaning symbionts or predators. Studies of this behavior hold promise for investigating interrelationships between endocrinology and behavior, and ecology and behavior.
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Branchiobdellid annelids and their freshwater crayfish hosts are generally thought to have a commensal relationship. Branchiobdellids of the genus Cambarincola exploit their hosts through a variety of mechanisms; however, an effect of branchiobdellids on crayfish has not been conclusively demonstrated. We investigated whether branchiobdellids positively affect the host crayfish Cambarus chasmodactylus in the New River, North Carolina. In a laboratory experiment, we placed 0, 3, or 6 branchiobdellids on C. chasmodactylus and observed a significant effect of branchiobdellid presence on both growth and mortality of host crayfish; crayfish with branchiobdellids exhibited faster growth and lower mortality with increasing branchiobdellid density. A tracer experiment demonstrated that branchiobdellids feed on items found in the branchial chamber of C. chasmodactylus. We hypothesize that such feeding activity by branchiobdellids reduces fouling of crayfish gills by epibionts and particulate matter and could lead to the reduced mortality and increased growth rates observed in the laboratory experiment. Specifically, Cambarincola may improve the ventilatory and excretory fitness of C. chasmodactylus by cleaning gill filaments. Field data support this hypothesis by demonstrating that branchiobdellids are found disproportionately at sites proximal to the branchial chamber in the New River. This study provides evidence that the relationship between C. chasmodactylus and Cambarincola may be a cleaning symbiosis, at least in environments where gill fouling is a problem for C. chasmodactylus.
Article
Cleaning symbiosis is reported for centrarchid fishes in their natural habitat at Everglades National Park, Florida. Intraspecific cleaning behaviour among conspecifics of the bluegill sunfish Lepomis macrochirus, as well as interspecific cleaning behaviour between L. macrochirus and the largemouth bass Micropterus salmoides, is described. Juveniles of L. macrochirus acted as intraspecific cleaners, adults as interspecific cleaners. Clients displayed a characteristic head-stand pose during cleaning encounters. The evolution of this cleaning invitation pose may be related to an inclined feeding posture frequently utilized by centrarchid fishes. Cleaning stations appeared to exist with regard to interspecific cleaning. Cleaning behaviour may be a seasonal phenomenon in the Everglades.
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The effect of 0.2% emamectin benzoate (SLICE; Intervet/ Schering-Plough Animal Health, Roseland, New Jersey) administered in top-dressed, pelleted commercial fish feed was evaluated for control of freshwater Argulus sp. in goldfish Carassius auratus and koi carp, a variant of common carp Cyprinus carpio, in freshwater aquaria at 24-25 degrees C. Sixteen individually housed goldfish were each exposed to 37 Argulus. The number of fish lice attached to each fish at the start of the experiment was not determined; however, the total number of motile fish lice in each aquarium (on fish and in the water) was determined at the start and end of each experiment. Eight goldfish were fed the control diet (0 microg x kg fish biomass(-1) x d(-1)) and eight were fed the medicated diet (50 microg x kg fish biomass(-1) x d(-1)) for seven consecutive days. After treatment, fish louse infestation in controls was 20.5 +/- 1.5 (mean +/- SE) lice per fish. No Argulus were found on fish in the treated group. In a separate experiment, 10 individually housed koi were each exposed to 128 Argulus. Five koi were fed the control diet and five were fed a low-dose medicated diet (5 microg x kg fish biomass(-1) x d(-1)) for 7 d. After treatment, fish louse infestation among the controls was 14.6 +/- 3.8 lice per koi. No Argulus were found on koi in the treated group. Hence, a 7-d regimen of oral emamectin benzoate controlled experimental infestation of Argulus when administered to goldfish at 50 microg x kg fish biomass(-1) x d(-1) and to koi at 5 microg x kg fish biomass(-1) x d(-1).
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