Cleaner Fish

on April 15, 2010


Cleaner Fish

This fish is called a cleaner fish because it attracts larger fish to its cleaning station where the larger fish are cleaned. The cleaner fish enters the other fish’s mouth and gill openings to remove parasites and diseased tissue. This important role is uniquely given to this animal by its Creator to supply it with food, as well as other fish with a “doctor.” Another feature to ensure the survival of the cleaner fish is the ability for a female fish to change into a male.


  • The smooth, elongated body of the cleaner fish has very small scales that are brilliant blue with a band of black that runs from the snout to the tail.
  • This fish has a small mouth with protruding lips and teeth.

Fun Facts

  • This fish is more commonly known as the blue streak wrasse.
  • The cleaner fish will actually go to sleep at night. It retires to a small hole in the reef and sometimes covers itself with mucus.
  • Although some cleaners do poorly in captivity, this species does well, learning to take a variety of standard aquarium foods.

CLASS: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
ORDER: Perciformes (perch-like fishes)
FAMILY: Labridae (wrasses)
GENUS/SPECIES: Labroides dimidiatus

Size: 4 in (10 cm)
Habitat: Indo-Pacific coral reefs, from Queensland and the South Seas to the Red Sea

Aquarium Guide

With fun facts about more than 100 animals, this long-awaited Aquarium Guide includes beautiful pictures and reveals the incredible facts and design features that point to our amazing Creator. This handy size guide is excellent for school field trips and family trips to your favorite aquarium!

Browse Kids Book