. What's going on here? Why are the fish standing on their heads? They're near a cleaning station. These Creole Wrasses normally swim high up over the coral reef in the daytime in loose schools. They eat Plankton. Plankton is small stuff that's hard to see, fish eggs, newly hatched critters, algae, and probably Copepods, tiny creatures that live near the surface.
A cleaning station is a place where a small fish, often a juvenile, will live. Other fish come and pose, inviting the cleaner to look for parasites, and eat them. (ugh, but I'm not a hungry fish) The little fish with the yellow tail (bad, blue photo!) is a juvenile Spanish Hogfish. The Wrasse isn't moving. The little fish will closely inspect the whole Wrasse.
.It can get quite busy, with many Creole Wrasses milling around, "Me next!!"
.Little Hogfish hard at work. Sometimes a bigger fish, say a Grouper, will hold their mouth wide open, and the cleaner will go right inside! And even come out through the gills. I saw a Barracuda being cleaned once, with his mouth wide open. Looked like the entrance to the New York Subway!
Funny how they line up and pose, unmoving. Every different kind of fish has it's own type of pose. Without the cleaners, fish would have a really tough time, there are lots of parasites that must be removed often.
This is a juveenile French Angel cleaning a Bar Jack, from my shallow snorkel the other day. The Bar Jack is posing head-up, and fluttering his pectoral fins. The fish being cleaned kind of goes into a trance. They know if a diver is coming too close, but they seem unable to move, for a little while, anyway.
OK, now to go email the Technician and try to find out when my camera is coming back t me. Thanks for stopping by!