| Ecological Descriptors
||Ech, Cru, Mol (Cle)
Most wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites, with some Initial Phase (IP) females, turning into Terminal Phase (TP) males once they reach a certain size. Those individuals who remain female in TP, retain the markings of IP. Juveniles often have the same colouration as IP females.
Terminal Phase Male: Body elongated in shape with a relatively long snout. Forehalf of dorsal fin serrated. Fins yellow; a black blotch at front of dorsal fin. Upper 1/2 of rear of head, upper 1/3 of body and front 3/4 of dorsal fin blue-grey to purple to deep red. Rest of head. Body, tail base and tail fin yellow. In these males, the tail is lunate and dorsal and anal fins with extensions.
IP/ TP Female: As per male, but with truncate tail and lacking fin extensions.
Juveniles: Have a purple head and forebody, as they mature, the purple area becomes restricted to the upper forebody.
Adults inhabit rocky or coral reefs. Feed on brittle stars, crustaceans, mollusks, and sea urchins (Ref. 9710). Juveniles actively pick parasites from larger fishes
Protogynous hermaphrodite with length at sex change ~17cm. Sex reversal is completed in 7-10 days. Distinct pairing during breeding. Spawning occurs at dusk.
IP/ TP Female
(C) Dr P Ryan/ RyanPhotographic