Home > Fishes > Wrasses

Updated 6/16/2024

Family Labridae, Wrasses

Wrasses are colorful members of reef and sand flat communities.  They are active during the day, feeding upon a variety of small animals, detritus, and small amounts of algae, and sleep buried in sand or deep within the reef at night.  They swim by flapping the pectoral fins.  Wrasses can be difficult to identify without some experience, complicated by color differences exhibited by fish in different stages of growth.  All species are born female and usually go through one or two juvenile color phases before adulthood, which is known as the initial phase.  Under the right circumstances a female can transform, irreversibly, into a male with a very different color pattern, referred to as a terminal or supermale.  Many wrasses live as harems with several females tended by a supermale, however some imposter males may retain female coloration to compete with the supermale.  Of 45 species recorded from Hawai'i, 15 are found nowhere else.  Hawaiians referred to many of these as hīnālea or hilu.  Only the Hawaiian Hogfish and Razorfishes are eaten on a regular basis.

 

HAWAII - ENDEMIC

Coris flavovittata  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

YELLOWSTRIPE CORIS, juvenile

 

Coris ballieui  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

LINED CORIS, juvenile

 

Coris flavovittata  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

YELLOWSTRIPE CORIS, female

 

Coris ballieui  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

LINED CORIS, female

Coris flavovittata  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

YELLOWSTRIPE CORIS, male

 

Coris ballieui  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

LINED CORIS, male

Coris venusta    endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

ELEGANT CORIS, juvenile

 

Macropharyngodon geoffroyendemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SHORTNOSED WRASSE, juvenile

 

Coris venusta    endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

ELEGANT CORIS, female

 

Macropharyngodon geoffroyendemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SHORTNOSED WRASSE, female

 

Coris venusta    endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

ELEGANT CORIS, male

 

Macropharyngodon geoffroyendemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SHORTNOSED WRASSE, male

Anampses chrysocephalus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

PSYCHEDELIC WRASSE, juvenile

 

Stethojulis balteata  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

BELTED WRASSE, juvenile

Anampses chrysocephalus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

PSYCHEDELIC WRASSE, female

 

Stethojulis balteata  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

BELTED WRASSE, female

Anampses chrysocephalus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

PSYCHEDELIC WRASSE, male

 

Stethojulis balteata  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

BELTED WRASSE, male

Labroides phthirophagusendemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN CLEANER WRASSE, juvenile

 

Labroides phthirophagusendemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN CLEANER WRASSE, adult

 

Thalassoma duperrey x T. quinquevittatum

HYBRID SADDLE x FIVESTRIPE WRASSE  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

 

Thalassoma duperrey x T. quinquevittatum

 

HYBRID SADDLE x FIVESTRIPE WRASSE  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

 

 

Thalassoma duperrey x T. lutescens

HYBRID SADDLE x SUNSET WRASSE  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

 

 
Thalassoma ballieui  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

BLACKTAIL or OLD WOMAN WRASSE, juvenile

 

Thalassoma duperrey endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SADDLE WRASSE, juvenile

 

Thalassoma ballieui  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

BLACKTAIL or OLD WOMAN WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma duperrey endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SADDLE WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma ballieui  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

BLACKTAIL or OLD WOMAN WRASSE, male

 

Thalassoma duperrey endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SADDLE WRASSE, male

Pseudojuloides cerasinus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SMALLTAIL or PENCIL WRASSE, female

 

Pseudojuloides cerasinus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

SMALLTAIL or PENCIL WRASSE, male

 

Cirrhilabrus jordani  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

FLAME WRASSE, female

 

Cirrhilabrus jordani  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

FLAME WRASSE, male

 

Bodianus albotaeniatus  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN HOGFISH, juvenile

 

Bodianus albotaeniatus  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN HOGFISH, subadult

 

Bodianus albotaeniatus  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN HOGFISH, female

 

Bodianus albotaeniatus  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN HOGFISH, male

 

Bodianus sanguineus 

SUNRISE WRASSE

 

 Bodianus bathycapros  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN PIGFISH

Anampses cuvier  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

PEARL WRASSE, female

 

Anampses cuvier  endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

PEARL WRASSE, male

 

Cymolutes lecluse endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN KNIFEFISH, female

Cymolutes lecluse endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

HAWAIIAN KNIFEFISH, male

 

Iniistius umbrilatus endemic.gif (1686 bytes)

BLACKBAR RAZORFISH

 

 

 

   

INDO-PACIFIC / HAWAII

Coris gaimard

YELLOWTAIL CORIS, juvenile

 

Halichoeres ornatissimus

ORNATE WRASSE, juvenile

 

Coris gaimard

YELLOWTAIL CORIS, female

 

Halichoeres ornatissimus

ORNATE WRASSE, female

Coris gaimard

YELLOWTAIL CORIS, male

 

Halichoeres ornatissimus

ORNATE WRASSE, male

Thalassoma trilobatum

CHRISTMAS WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma trilobatum

CHRISTMAS WRASSE, male

 

Thalassoma purpureum

SURGE WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma purpureum

SURGE WRASSE, male

 

Thalassoma quinquevittatum

FIVESTRIPE WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma quinquevittatum

FIVESTRIPE WRASSE, nuptial male

 

Thalassoma lutescens

SUNSET WRASSE, female

Thalassoma lutescens

SUNSET WRASSE, male

Pseudocheilinus evanidus

CHINSTRAP or DISAPPEARING WRASSE

 

Pseudocheilinus octotaenia

  EIGHT-LINED WRASSE

 

 Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia

FOUR-LINED WRASSE

 

Polylepion russelli

YELLOWSTRIPED HOGFISH

 

Gomphosus varius

BIRD WRASSE, female

 

Gomphosus varius

BIRD WRASSE, male

 

Cheilio inermis

CIGAR WRASSE, yellow female

 

Cheilio inermis

CIGAR WRASSE, male

 

Novaculichthys taeniourus

ROCKMOVER WRASSE, juvenile

 

Novaculichthys taeniourus

ROCKMOVER WRASSE, adult

 

Oxycheilinus unifasciatus

RINGTAIL WRASSE, female

 

Oxycheilinus unifasciatus

RINGTAIL WRASSE, male

 

Oxycheilinus bimaculatus

TWOSPOT  WRASSE, female

 

Oxycheilinus bimaculatus

TWOSPOT  WRASSE, male

 

Epibulus insidiator

SLINGJAW  WRASSE, juvenile

 

Epibulus insidiator

SLINGJAW  WRASSE, male

 

Xyrichtys woodi

WOOD'S RAZORFISH

Iniistius baldwini

BALDWIN'S RAZORFISH

 

 Iniistius celebicus

BRONZESPOT RAZORFISH, female

Iniistius celebicus

BRONZESPOT RAZORFISH, male


Iniistius pavo

PEACOCK RAZORFISH, juvenile

Iniistius pavo

PEACOCK RAZORFISH, juvenile

 

Iniistius pavo

PEACOCK RAZORFISH, black morph

 

Iniistius pavo

PEACOCK RAZORFISH, adult

 

Iniistius aneitensis

WHITEPATCH RAZORFISH, juvenile

 

Iniistius aneitensis

WHITEPATCH RAZORFISH, female

 

Iniistius aneitensis

WHITEPATCH RAZORFISH, male

 


INDO-PACIFIC

Thalassoma hardwicke

SIXBAR WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma hardwicke

SIXBAR WRASSE, male

 

Thalassoma jansenii

JANSEN'S WRASSE

 

Thalassoma nigrofasciatum

BLACKBARRED WRASSE

 

Coris aygula

CLOWN CORIS, juvenile

 

Coris aygula

CLOWN CORIS, female

Thalassoma lunare

MOON WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma lunare

MOON WRASSE, male

 

Thalassoma amblycephalum

BLUNTHEADED WRASSE, female


Thalassoma amblycephalum

BLUNTHEADED WRASSE, male

Hologymnosus doliatus

PASTEL RINGWRASSE, juvenile

 

Hologymnosus doliatus

PASTEL RINGWRASSE, subadult

Hologymnosus doliatus

PASTEL RINGWRASSE, adult

 

Pseudocheilinus hexataenia

SIXLINE WRASSE

Labroides bicolor

BICOLOR CLEANER WRASSE, juv

Labroides bicolor

BICOLOR CLEANER WRASSE, adult

 

Labroides rubrolabiatus

REDLIP CLEANER WRASSE

 

Labroides pectoralis

BLACKSPOT CLEANER WRASSE

Labroides dimidiatus

BLUESTRIPE CLEANER WRASSE, juv.

 

Labroides dimidiatus

BLUESTRIPE CLEANER WRASSE

 

Labroides dimidiatus

BLUESTRIPE CLEANER WRASSE, orange

 

Labroides dimidiatus

BLUESTRIPE CLEANER WRASSE, yellow

 

Halichoeres scapularis

ZIGZAG WRASSE

 

Coris batuensis

BATU CORIS

Halichoeres chloropterus

PASTEL-GREEN WRASSE, juvenile

 

Halichoeres hortulanus

CHECKERED WRASSE, juvenile

Halichoeres chloropterus

PASTEL-GREEN WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres hortulanus

CHECKERED WRASSE, female

Halichoeres chloropterus

PASTEL-GREEN WRASSE, male

 

Halichoeres hortulanus

CHECKERED WRASSE, male

Halichoeres trimaculatus

THREESPOT WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres trimaculatus

THREESPOT WRASSE, male

 

Halichoeres podostigma

AXIL-SPOT WRASSE, male

Halichoeres richmondi

RICHMOND'S WRASSE, male

Halichoeres melanurus

TAILSPOT WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres melanurus

TAILSPOT WRASSE, male

Halichoeres leucurus

CHAINSPOT WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres leucurus

CHAINSPOT WRASSE, male

Halichoeres biocellatus

RED-LINED WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres biocellatus

RED-LINED WRASSE, male

Halichoeres argus

ARGUS WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres argus

ARGUS WRASSE, male

Halichoeres margaritiaceus

WEEDY SURGE WRASSE, female


Halichoeres margaritiaceus

WEEDY SURGE WRASSE, male

Pseudodax moluccanus

CHISELTOOTH WRASSE

Halichoeres nebulosus

NEBULOUS or CLOUD WRASSE, male

Halichoeres prosopeion

TWO-TONE WRASSE, juvenile

 

Halichoeres prosopeion

TWO-TONE WRASSE, adult

 

Halichoeres marginatus

DUSKY WRASSE

 

Halichoeres chrysus

CANARY WRASSE

Anampses twistii

YELLOWBREASTED WRASSE, juv

 

Anampses twistii

YELLOWBREASTED WRASSE

 

Anampses neoguinaicus

NEW GUINEA WRASSE, juv

 

Anampses neoguinaicus

NEW GUINEA WRASSE, male

Anampses caeruleopunctatus

BLUESPOTTED WRASSE, female

 

Anampses meleagrides

YELLOWTAIL WRASSE, female

Bodianus dictynna

REDFIN HOGFISH

 

Bodianus axillaris

AXILSPOT HOGFISH

 

Bodianus mesothorax

SPLITLEVEL HOGFISH, juvenile

 

Bodianus mesothorax

SPLITLEVEL HOGFISH

Bodianus anthioides

LYRETAIL HOGFISH, juvenile

 

Bodianus anthioides

LYRETAIL HOGFISH

 

 
Labropsis polynesica

SOUTHERN TUBELIP

 

Labropsis polynesica

POLYNESIAN TUBELIP

Labrichthys unilineatus

TUBELIP WRASSE, Juvenile

 

Labrichthys unilineatus

TUBELIP WRASSE

Epibulus brevis

LATENT SLINGJAW WRASSE

Epibulus brevis

LATENT SLINGJAW WRASSE

 

Epibulus insidiator

SLINGJAW WRASSE, yellow morph

 

Epibulus insidiator

SLINGJAW WRASSE, female

Epibulus insidiator

SLINGJAW WRASSE, male

 

Stethojulis trilineata

THREE-LINED WRASSE

Cheilinus undulatus

HUMPHEAD WRASSE, juvenile

 

Cheilinus undulatus

HUMPHEAD WRASSE

Choerodon anchorago

ANCHOR TUSKFISH, juvenile

 

Choerodon anchorago

ANCHOR TUSKFISH

Oxycheilinus diagramma

CHEEKLINED WRASSE, juvenile

Oxycheilinus diagramma

CHEEKLINED WRASSE

 

Oxycheilinus celebicus

SULAWESI WRASSE

 

Oxycheilinus orientalis

 

ORIENTAL WRASSE


Cheilinus fasciatus

REDBREASTED WRASSE, juvenile

 

Cheilinus fasciatus

REDBREASTED WRASSE

Cheilinus chlorourus

FLORAL WRASSE

 

Cheilinus trilobatus

TRIPLETAIL WRASSE

Hemigymnus melapterus

HALF-AND-HALF THICKLIP, juvenile

 

Hemigymnus melapterus

HALF-AND-HALF THICKLIP

Hemigymnus melapterus

HALF-AND-HALF THICKLIP

 

Hemigymnus fasciatus

BARRED THICKLIP

 

Choerodon fasciatus

HARLEQUIN TUSKFISH

 

Halichoeres melanochir

ORANGEFIN WRASSE, Juvenile

Cirrhilabrus cf. punctatus

FIJI DOTTED FAIRY WRASSE, female

 

Cirrhilabrus cf. punctatus

FIJI DOTTED FAIRY WRASSE, male

Cirrhilabrus cf. punctatus

FIJI DOTTED FAIRY WRASSE, juv

 

Pseudocheilinus ocellatus

WHITE-BARRED or MYSTERY WRASSE

Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura

BLUESIDE FAIRY WRASSE

 

Cirrhilabrus ryukyuensis

YELLOWSIDE FAIRY WRASSE

Cirrhilabrus katherinae

KATHERINE'S FAIRY WRASSE

 

Cirrhilabrus condei

REDBACK FAIRY WRASSE

Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis

ORANGE-BACK FAIRY WRASSE, male

 

Cirrhilabrus exquisitus

EXQUISITE FAIRY WRASSE, juv

Cirrhilabrus chaliasi

RUBY-HEAD FAIRY WRASSE, female

 

Cirrhilabrus chaliasi

RUBY-HEAD FAIRY WRASSE, male

 

Cirrhilabrus solorensis

SOLOR FAIRY WRASSE, male

 

Cirrhilabrus aquamarinus

CHIN-STRAP FAIRY WRASSE, male

 

Cirrhilabrus temminckii

THREADFIN FAIRY WRASSE, female

 

Cirrhilabrus temminckii

THREADFIN FAIRY WRASSE, male

Macropharyngodon meleagris

LEOPARD WRASSE, juv

 

Macropharyngodon meleagris

LEOPARD WRASSE

 

 

 

 


INDIAN OCEAN

Coris cuvieri

AFRICAN CORIS, female

 

Coris formosa

QUEEN CORIS, female

Coris caudimacula

SPOT-TAIL CORIS, female

 

Coris caudimacula

SPOT-TAIL CORIS, male

Macropharyngodon bipartitus

DIVIDED WRASSE, female

 

Macropharyngodon bipartitus

DIVIDED WRASSE, male

 

Paracheilinus flavianalis

YELLOWFIN FLASHER WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma hebraicum

GOLDBAR WRASSE, male


EAST ASIA

Parajulis poecilepterus

Kyuusen, female

 

Parajulis poecilepterus

Kyuusen, male

 

Halichoeres bleekeri

BLEEKER'S WRASSE, juvenile

 

Halichoeres bleekeri

BLEEKER'S WRASSE, male

 

Pteragogus aurigarius

Ohaguro-bera, female

 

Pteragogus aurigarius

Ohaguro-bera, male

 

Choerodon azurio

SCARBREAST TUSKFISH, female

 

Choerodon azurio

SCARBREAST TUSKFISH, male

Stethojulis terina

Kaminari-bera, female

 

Stethojulis terina

Kaminari-bera, male

Thalassoma cupido

CUPID WRASSE    Nishiki-bera

 

Pseudolabus japonicus

Sasanoha-bera, male

 

 

TROPICAL EASTERN PACIFIC

Bodianus diplotaenia

MEXICAN HOGFISH, female

 

Bodianus diplotaenia

MEXICAN HOGFISH, male

 

Halichoeres chierchiae

WOUNDED WRASSE, juvenile

 

Halichoeres nicholsi

SPINSTER WRASSE, juvenile

 

Thalassoma lucasanum

CORTEZ RAINBOW WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma lucasanum

CORTEZ RAINBOW WRASSE, male

 

Halichoeres semicinctus

ROCK WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres semicinctus

ROCK WRASSE, male

 

Oxyjulis californica

SENORITA

 

Semicossyphus pulcher

CALIFORNIA SHEEPHEAD, juvenile

Semicossyphus pulcher

CALIFORNIA SHEEPHEAD, female

 

Semicossyphus pulcher

CALIFORNIA SHEEPHEAD, male


TROPICAL WESTERN ATLANTIC

Thalassoma bifasciatum

BLUEHEAD WRASSE, female

 

Thalassoma bifasciatum

BLUEHEAD WRASSE, male

 

Halichoeres bivittatus

SLIPPERY DICK WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres bivittatus

SLIPPERY DICK WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres poeyi

BLACKEAR WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres poeyi

BLACKEAR WRASSE, male

 

Halichoeres maculipinna

CLOWN WRASSE, female

 

Halichoeres maculipinna

CLOWN WRASSE, male

 

Halichoeres garnoti

YELLOWHEAD WRASSE, juvenile

 

Halichoeres garnoti

YELLOWHEAD WRASSE, male

Halichoeres radiatus

PUDDINGWIFE WRASSE

 

Clepticus parrae

CREOLE WRASSE

Bodianus rufus

SPANISH HOGFISH, juvenile

 

Bodianus rufus

SPANISH HOGFISH

Lachnolaimus maximus

HOGFISH, female

 

Lachnolaimus maximus

HOGFISH, male

Xyrichtys martinicensis

ROSY RAZORFISH, female

 

Xyrichtys splendens

GREEN RAZORFISH, juvenile