Fish of the Month Contest: Cleaner Wrasse

This month, post your pictures and/or videos of the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse on Instagram! Tag @kona_honu_divers and add #konahonudivers #cleanerwrasseofthemonth. Your name will go into the drawing for a $20 gift card to our shop! Posts must be made before the end of February. We will announce the Winner March 1st!

Photo by Stacey Herman

Have you been snorkeling or diving around the reef and seen fish suspended, nearly motionless with their fins flared out and a little vibrant yellow, blue, and purple fish nipping at their scales? That slender little fish doing the nipping is likely the Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse aka Labroides phthirophagus.

The Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse is an endemic fish that is quite common all over the island chain. These fish establish territories on the reef that serve other fish as “cleaning stations.” For the wrasse, these stations serve as their meal ticket. Larger fish will hover in the Cleaner Wrasse territory and let the fish get busy scrubbing their scales and picking off ectoparasites. The dare devil Cleaner will even clean inside of predatory fish mouths and gills! In return for their maintenance, the fish will snack on the visitor’s mucus.

Look for these little beauties next time you’re diving, freediving, or snorkeling! Enter your Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse pictures and videos in our Fish of the Month Contest to win a $20 gift card to the Kona Honu Divers shop!


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