Opportunistic predatory reef fishes commonly follow foraging benthivores to feed on prey disturbed by the
benthivores. This study examined factors that may restrict the number and the species composition of follower fishes.
Association groups common on the reefs around Bonaire were followed and videotaped. The follower compositions and
interactions were quantified. Time spent by the followers in different positions around the nuclear benthivore was
calculated. Follower species occupied some positions more often than others, and the preferred positions were speciesspecific.
A high degree of overlap in these positions corresponded to repelling interactions between followers and to the
absence of their co-occurrence in the associations. A low degree of the positional overlap corresponded to the absence of
repelling interactions and to co-occurrence of the followers in the same association.