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 Cleaner, Mimic Blenny
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.
The species grows to 11.5 cm in length.
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.
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.
Distribution by collection data
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.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- 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.
- Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
- Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
- 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