Mimicry often involves a protective element, whereby the risk of predation on mimics is reduced owing to their resemblance to unpalatable models. However, protection from predation has so far seemed unimportant in aggressive mimicry, where mimics are usually predators rather than prey. Here, we demonstrate that bluestriped fangblennies (Plagiotremus rhinorhynchos), which are aggressive mimics of juvenile bluestreak cleaner wrasse (Labroides dimidiatus), derive significant protection benefits from their resemblance to cleaner fish. Field observations revealed that mimetic fangblennies were chased by potential victims less often than individuals of a closely related, ecologically and behaviourally similar but non- mimetic species (Plagiotremus tapeinosoma). After attacks, proximity to models protected mimics from retaliation by victims, but the effect of colour similarity was less clear. Both colour resemblance and physical proximity to models thus appear to protect cleaner- fish mimics from aggression by potential and actual victims of their attacks. Our results suggest that the mimicry types observed in nature, which are usually distinguished on the basis of the benefits accrued to mimics, may in fact overlap greatly in the benefits provided.