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Adaptations to a cleaning life: a comparative approach

Author Simon GINGINS
Director of thesis Redouan Bshary
Co-director of thesis
Summary of thesis

I am interested in using a comparative approach to investigate how the complex behavior of L. dimidiatus might have evolved and what adaptations were necessary for its particular lifestyle. In order to do this, I will compare different aspects of the cognitive capacities, the vision and the behavior of the cleaner wrasse with related species. Among wrasses, some species also engage in cleaning, but not necessarily and only at a juvenile stage. We call these species facultative cleaners. In addition, individuals who do engage in such behavior don’t have as many interactions as L. dimidiatus and show less complex cleaning behaviors. The wrasse family thus provides a good study system for a comparative approach, as there seems to be some kind of gradient in cleaning behavior, from species that never clean to “professional” cleaners such as L. dimidiatus.

Administrative delay for the defence