Turtle cleaners: Reef fishes foraging on epibionts of sea turtles in the tropical Southwestern Atlantic, with a summary of this association type

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Abstract

In the present study we record several instances of reef fish species foraging on epibionts of sea turtles (cleaning symbiosis) at the oceanic islands of Fernando de Noronha Archipelago and near a shipwreck, both off the coast of Pernambuco State, northeast Brazil. Nine reef fish species and three turtle species involved in cleaning are herein recorded. Besides our records, a summary of the literature on this association type is presented. Postures adopted by turtles during the interaction are related to the habits of associated fishes. Feeding associations between fishes and turtles seem a localized, albeit common, phenomenon. © 2010 Sociedade Brasileira de Ictiologia.

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Sazima, C., Grossman, A., & Sazima, I. (2010). Turtle cleaners: Reef fishes foraging on epibionts of sea turtles in the tropical Southwestern Atlantic, with a summary of this association type. Neotropical Ichthyology, 8(1), 187–192. https://doi.org/10.1590/S1679-62252010005000003

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