Species Index

Aspidontus taeniatus
(Quoy and Gaimard, 1834)

Common Name: False Cleanerfish

Distribution: Common in the Solitary Island Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Pacific Ocean, from the Cocos-Keeling Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean to the Line, Marquesan, and Tuamoto islands, north to southern Japan, south to New South Wales and throughout Micronesia. In Australia recorded from around Perth in Western Australia, north through the North West Shelf region, the Northern Territory and Gulf of Carpentaria, the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland south to the New South Wales Victorian border.

Ecological Notes: Frequents lagoons, sub-tidal reef flats and outer lagoon slopes. Depth to 25 m.

Additional Notes: Usually solitary or in pairs, often mimics the true cleaner fishes, Labroides dimidiatus, by copying its motion to entice other fishes to come within reach, when it then nips scales or mucus and retreats to holes in the coral or reef. Diet is supplemented by zooplankton or small invertebrates. Can be distinguished from the cleaner wrasse by the position of its mouth, on the underside, rather than terminal as with L. dimidiatus. Grows to 11.5 cm. 

References: Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 04/12/2020.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 04/12/2020.