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Habitat and EcologyHabitat and Ecology
Juveniles are generally solitary in deep ledges and are rarely seen cleaning. Adults tend to move over larger areas to clean, rather than waiting at fixed cleaning stations like some other cleaner wrasses (e.g. L. dimidiatus) (Kuiter 2002). It shows pronounced cleaning behaviour which only occurs during the day. Labroides bicolor is active in the daytime, and may possibly produce a protective mucous cocoon at night.
It is probably a monandric hermaphrodite, but might also undergo bi-directional sex-change (Robertson 1972, Kuwamura et al. 2002, Sadovy and Liu 2008, re L. dimidiatus). There appears to be no obvious adult colour dimorphism, the males and females having enerally the same colour pattern (though the male may exhibit a bluer head, Kuiter 2002). The juvenile colour pattern (yellow with a black stripe) is however different from that of the adults (Kuiter 2002).
It feeds on the crustacean ectoparasites of other fishes, probably including gnathiid isopods (Grutter 1997), and also on fish mucus (Masuda and Allen 1993).