Wrasse

Wrasse

 

Wrasse have an indistinct body shape which can make them hard to identify.  They have noticeable scales like Parrotfish, which they are often confused with and they are often very colourful.  They have different colour variations depending on maturity.  They mainly feed on hard-shelled invertebrates.  Wrasse will usually have radiating lines coming from their chameleon like eyes.  there is very little distinction between their main body and they tail (caudal) fin.  Wrasse vary in size from a few centimetres to over a metre – the mighty Napoleon or Humphead Wrasse.

Six-bar Wrasse © WiseOceans

Six-bar Wrasse © WiseOceans

Six-bar wrasse (Thalassoma hardwicke)

The six bar wrasse is one of the friendliest fish, often swimming close to snorkelers, which allows you to see all of their beautiful colours shimmering in the light. They have six darker bars down the length of their body, with pink bands radiating from the eye. Their colours vary from yellow to purple. Usually seen alone, swimming close to the reef or in the water column. (up to 20cm).

Gold bar Wrasse © WiseOceans

Gold bar Wrasse © WiseOceans

Gold bar Wrasse (Thalassoma hebraicum)

Gold bar wrasse are commonly seen on the reef, and can be identified by the gold bar behind the pectoral fin. The body is various shades of greens and blues, and the head is a green-brown, with darker curved lines surrounding the eye. Gold bar wrasse can be seen close the reef, commonly in pairs, swimming quickly from place to place. (up to 25cm)

Bird Wrasse © WiseOceans

Bird Wrasse © WiseOceans

Bird Wrasse (Gomphosus caeruleus)

Bird wrasse are frequently seen on the reef, they look different to the classic wrasse shape as they have a longer snout, which makes them look more bird-like. Colours vary from dark green to gradual white-grey shading. Usually seen alone, closer to the reef  (depending on species up to 15 or 28cm).

Barred Thick-lip Wrasse © WiseOceans

Barred Thick-lip Wrasse © WiseOceans

Barred Thick-lip Wrasse (Hemigymnus fasciatus)

Barred Thick-lip wrasse are one of the larger wrasse, reaching up to 40cm. They can be identified by their thick yellow-green lips and are surrounded by pink bands. Their body has alternating red-black and white bars. Barred thick-lip wrasse are usually found alone, close to the reef feeding on molluscs and small crustaceans.

All photos © WiseOceans unless otherwise stated

 

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