Cleaning stations are areas on the reef where the usual rules of predation are suspended, and fish get together for their mutual benefit. Some species of fish, and even shrimps, have evolved to feed on the parasites that can grow on larger fishes. Often working together, these special cleaners will go to work on large carnivores like groupers. Groupers can spend up to eight hours a day getting fussed over at cleaning stations!
Symbiosis is the term used when different species get together to benefit one anonther. Each species will target different cleaning jobs. Neon gobies will feed on tiny parasites, while the tiny Pederson Cleaner Shrimp will actually jump into the mouth of a fish to clean out it's gills. Banded Coral Shrimps have larger claws and are often found cleaning out the larger bits of debris stuck between teeth.
All these species and more can be found on one cleaning station, offering a full service!
Is a Canadian-born South African living in Honduras, who no longer knows where his accent is from. He has been diving all over the world, but has chosen Roatan as his home because of it's incredible underwater biodiversity. He has spent many thousands of hours underwater, and he is still finding something new on every dive.