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Wrasse interactions 

There is an intriguing relationship between small rock cook wrasse (Centrolabrus exoletus) and large ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta).

 
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Groups of rock cooks follow ballan wrasse as they cruise over the seabed.

 
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They stay very close to the larger fish and...

 
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...when the ballan wrasse stops to browse among stones or gravel, the rock cooks stay to feed close by. If the ballan wrasse spits out a mouthfull of gravel the rock cooks dash in, presumably seizing any small creatures disturbed during this process.

 
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The activity is particularly intense if, as here, the ballan wrasse takes a piece of kelp and swims up from the seabed before releasing it.

 
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While the ballan wrasse then descends and swims away, the rock cooks busily take advantage of the food that has been made available. On this occasion, a corkwing wrasse (Crenilabrus melops, top left) also seemed interested, but stayed much further back than the rock cooks.

 
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Ballan wrasse appear to receive a "cleaning service" in return for providing the additional feeding opportunities. Rock cooks can occasionally be seen darting in and removing parasites from the ballans' flanks.