Breastspot Cleanerfish

Labroides Pectoralis
Breastspot Cleanerfish - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Labroides Pectoralis
Other names Black Spot Cleaner Wrasse, False Bluestreak Wrasse, Gold Barrier Reef Cleaner, Spotbreast Cleanerfish, Yellow Cleaner Wrasse
Size Up to 11 cm (4.3 in)
Weight Under 50 grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst coral rich reefs in caves & reef edges or walls
Depth Range 1 - 15 m (49 ft)
Breastspot Cleanerfish Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The breastspot cleanerfish, is a small marine species that is commonly found in the waters around northern Australia, particularly in the Great Barrier Reef, Coral Sea, and the Western Australian coast.
  • They can exhibit a variety of colours, including yellow, blue, and green, in addition to their more prominent black and white coloration. The exact coloration can vary depending on factors such as the age and sex of the fish, their location, and their individual genetics.
  • Breastspot cleanerfish are known for their unique behaviour of cleaning other fish by removing parasites and dead skin from their bodies. This cleaning behaviour is believed to be beneficial for both the cleanerfish and the fish being cleaned, as it helps to maintain good hygiene and health.
  • They have a small, pointed mouth that allows them to remove parasites and debris from the scales and skin of other fish. They are also known to consume mucus from the skin of the fish they clean, which provides them with additional nutrients. When not cleaning, they also feed on small invertebrates and planktonic organisms.
  • Breeding habits in breastspot cleanerfish is poorly understood, but it is believed that they reproduce via broadcast spawning, in which eggs and sperm are released into the water column.
  • Estimated lifespan is between 5 – 7 years.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

Breastspot cleanerfish can make for an interesting and rewarding aquarium species, but they may not be the best choice for beginner aquarium keepers or those with limited space or resources. In the wild, breastspot cleanerfish can be fascinating to observe for snorkelers and divers, especially because of their unique cleaning behaviour. When diving or snorkeling on a coral reef, it’s common to see these fish hovering around “cleaning stations” where other fish come to get cleaned.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Labroides

Species: Labroides Pectoralis

Conservation Status

Breastspot cleanerfish is a common species found in the tropical and subtropical waters of the Indo-Pacific, including many regions of Australia. It is not considered to be a threatened species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Breastspot Cleanerfish
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 30 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Semi-Aggressive

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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