WRASSES - LABRIDAE
General:
Most species are sand burrowers; carnivores on benthic invertebrates; also planktivores, and some small species remove ectoparasites of larger fishes.

Most species change color and sex with growth, from an initial phase (IP) of both males and females, the latter able to change sex into an often brilliantly colored terminal male phase (TP).

Diandric - possessing two different types of males, a large, brightly-coloured and aggressive terminal phase (TP) and a smaller, drab and relatively non-aggressive initial phase (IP). The TP has priority access to food and spawning females. On the death or removal of a TP, the first-ranking IP becomes the next TP (after first checking the reef thoroughly to make sure the TP is gone)

Maximum length about 2.3 m, many are less than 15 cm, the shortest being 4.5 cm. Medium to large species are important food fishes.

Size, shape and color very diversified. Protrusible mouth. Most jaw teeth with gaps between them; teeth usually jutting outward. Dorsal fin 8-21 spines (usually less than15), 6-21 soft rays. Anal fin 4-6 spines (often 3), 7-18 soft rays. Cycloid scales, generally large to moderate, 25-80 along the side (may be small and over 100 if small. Lateral line interrupted or continuous. Vertebrae 23-42. Snout elongated in the genus Gomphosus.
Terminal Phase Males
WRASSES - LABRIDAE
Juveniles/  Initial Phase
BLUEHEAD WRASSE
Thalassoma bifasciatum
BLUEHEAD WRASSE
Thalassoma bifasciatum
BLUEHEAD WRASSE
Thalassoma bifasciatum
BLUEHEAD WRASSE
Thalassoma bifasciatum
CREOLE WRASSE
Clepticus parrae
CREOLE WRASSE
Clepticus parrae
CREOLE WRASSE
Clepticus parrae
SPANISH HOGFISH
Bodianus rufus
SPANISH HOGFISH
Bodianus rufus
SPANISH HOGFISH
Bodianus rufus
YELLOWHEAD WRASSE
Halichoeres garnoti
YELLOWHEAD WRASSE
Halichoeres garnoti
YELLOWHEAD WRASSE
Halichoeres garnoti
PUDDINGWIFE
Halichoeres radiatus
PUDDINGWIFE
Halichoeres radiatus
PUDDINGWIFE
Halichoeres radiatus
BLACKEAR WRASSE
Halichoeres poeyi
BLACKEAR WRASSE
Halichoeres poeyi
BLACKEAR WRASSE
Halichoeres poeyi
HOGFISH
Lachnolaimus maximus
HOGFISH
Lachnolaimus maximus
HOGFISH
Lachnolaimus maximus
CLOWN WRASSE
Halichoeres maculipinna
CLOWN WRASSE
Halichoeres maculipinna
SLIPPERY DICK
Halichoeres bivittatus

Etymology:
Latin, labrum = lip or edge; = furious
SLIPPERY DICK
Halichoeres bivittatus
SLIPPERY DICK
Halichoeres bivittatus