The whitetip reef shark uses the coral reefs as a habitat, as well as a source for food. They are important predators in reef ecosystems. The sharks’ predation of fishes may serve as a sort of population control. This is particularly important in those fishes, such as the parrotfish, that consume the coral.
However the whitetip reef shark does occasionally have a negative effect on the coral. These sharks sometimes damage corals in their aggressive pursuit of prey fish.
The whitetip reef shark also serves as host to small cleaner fish such as gobies or striped cleaner wrasses who feed on the parasites infesting the shark.
- cleaner fish