Animal Species:False Cleanerfish, Aspidontus taeniatus Quoy & Gaimard, 1834

The False Cleanerfish is blue above, pale below, and has a black stripe running from the snout to the caudal fin margin. This species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific.

False Cleanerfish, Aspidontus taeniatus

Erik Schlögl © Erik Schlögl

Standard Common Name

False Cleanerfish

Alternative Name/s

False Cleaner, Mimic Blenny

Identification

The False Cleanerfish is blue above, pale below, and has a black stripe running from the snout to the caudal fin margin. Its mouth is overhung by the snout. The teeth are small with the exception of pair of very large curved canines on the lower jaw . There are four cirri in a row across the chin.

Size range

The species grows to 11.5 cm in length.

Similar Species

The False Cleanerfish looks similar tothe Striped Cleaner Wrasse. It can be distinguishedby its more pointed snout and longer dorsal fin base. It also looks similar to the Lance Blenny.

Distribution

This species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is recorded from the central coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to the central coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Aspidontus taeniatus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of False Cleanerfish specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Feeding and Diet

The False Cleanerfish resembles the Striped Cleaner Wrasse, a species that cleans parasites from the bodies of larger fishes. This mimicry allows the False Cleanerfish to "safely" approach larger fishes and bite off pieces of fins and scales. The False Cleanerfish also eats fish eggs and the branchiae of tubeworms.

Classification

Species:
taeniatus
Genus:
Aspidontus
Family:
Blenniidae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fishes, Ichthyology, False Cleanerfish, Aspidontus taeniatus, Blenniidae, white, black, silver, grey, long and skinny, 10 cm - 30 cm, stripes or bands, marine, adult, huge eyes,