Behavior

Resides within the body of its host during daylight and is believed to exit at night to forage and perhaps spawn. This strategy limits the probability of predation by larger fishes. This species has been observed in aquaria as it rapidly enters its primary host, Actinopyga agassizi. The species first locates the anal opening of the sea cucumber with its snout, presumably through olfaction. As the fish holds its head in the proper position at the anal opening, the body curves and the tip of the tail tracks along the mid-lateral line until it reaches the anus. Once the tail tip is aligned and pointed into the opening, the fish abruptly turns, forcing its way tail first into the host by body undulations. There are no observations of living pearlfishes in the wild and little data on its habits and behaviors.

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