Neon gobies are native to the western Atlantic Ocean, and can be found off the coast of Florida and Bermuda, through the Caribbean and the Gulf of Mexico.
Small and torpedo-shaped, neon gobies grow to be approximately 2.5 centimeters long. They are carnivorous, with a diet that consists primarily of ectoparasites, which they obtain by cleaning the bodies of other fish.
Neon gobies’ role as a cleaner fish isn’t only a feeding tactic—they also use this symbiotic relationship to their advantage when interacting with potential predators. Most other types of fish react to danger with a "fight-or-flight" response, but neon gobies react with neither—instead, they clean their potential predators. In fact, it has been observed that neon gobies engage in their cleaning role sooner and for a longer period of time with predators than with non-predatory fish!
Stay tuned for more behind-the-scenes updates!