This is an Initial Phase Queen Parrotfish being cleaned (most likely) by juvenile bluehead wrasse and are the best photos we've ever gotten of cleaner fish in action. I learned about this amazing occurrence from a fishinar presentation "Cleaning Stations" given by Ned Deloach (co-author of everyone's favorite fish ID books) that I really began to understand the importance of cleaning stations and the amazing relationships that play out there.
Category: Reef Species & Ecology
I didn’t know at the time what I was seeing or how hard it would be to get another great picture of this fish. I’ve seen them in Bonaire and Belize but never been able to get another picture good enough to share. I do know that the first time I saw it, I thought, “the reef is a truly astonishing and beautiful place!”
These fish are tricky to photograph but really fun to paint! To photograph them, you really have to wait for them to come to you. This was an early favorite fish of mine - the colors are so beautiful and the horns on its head are really fun to see!