Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Labridae (Wrasses)

Genus/species: Halichoeres chrysus

GENERAL CHARACTERISTICS: The body is elongated and canary yellow in color, with distinctive light-green bands on the head. Males have a single white-rimmed
black spot on dorsal fin; females have two black, light yellow-rimmed spots.

Length up to 12 cm (4.75 in).

DISTRIBUTION/HABITAT: East Indo-Pacific: Christmas Island to Marshall Islands; north to Japan, south to Australia. Found on sand and rubble edges of reefs.

DIET IN THE WILD: The Yellow Wrasse is a carnivore; small worms, snails, crustaceans;
also may eat parasites off of other fishes.

REPRODUCTION: H. chrysus is a protogynous hermaphrodite They start life as females with the capability of turning male later. Distinct pairing during breeding has been noted.


REMARKS: Most species of wrasse are elongated and relatively slender with pointed snouts. Characteristic features of the wrasses include thick lips, smooth scales, long dorsal and anal fins, and large, often protruding canine teeth in the front of the jaw.

Other common characteristics include their form of propulsion, which depends mostly on the winglike motion of the pectoral fins with only an occasional burst of speed provided by the caudal fin.

California Academy of Sciences Steinhart Aquarium Hidden Reef 2016
Vetted J. Charles Delbeek, M.Sc.
Assistant Curator, Steinhart Aquarium

Ron’s flickr