Cleaning Goby

Elacatinus genie

Maximum Size:

1.5 in (4 cm)


3–5 years

Typical depth:

3–98 ft (1–30 m)


As their name suggests, cleaning gobies clean other reef creatures by removing their parasites. This behavior is a form of symbiosis known as mutualism, where both parties benefit. The client fish get rid of their ectoparasites, while the cleaners get an easy meal.


Grouper, Snapper and eels.

Did you know?

Cleaning gobies clean many different coral reef species, including potential predators. They even clean inside the gills and between the teeth. Predators do not eat the cleaners during one of these sessions. However, gobies are at significant risk if they move away from their cleaning station.