Animal Species:Cigar Wrasse, Cheilio inermis (Osbeck, 1765)

The Cigar Wrasse is found on coral reefs down to a depth of 30 m, but is most often seen in shallower areas of algae and seagrass. The species eats a range of foods including molluscs, crustaceans and sea urchins. It occurs in tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-Pacific.

A Cigar Wrasse at Fly Point

David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson

Standard Common Name

Cigar Wrasse

Identification

The Cigar Wrasse can be recognised by its long snout and very elongate, cylindrical body.

Its colouration is variable, usually mottled brown, green or yellow. Juveniles sometimes have a black stripe along the side of the body. Large adults develop a salmon pink to orange blotch on the side of the body near the tip of the pectoral fin.

Size range

It grows to 50 cm in length.

Distribution

It occurs in tropical marine waters throughout the Indo-Pacific.

In Australia it is known from the central Western Australian coast, around the tropical north of the country, and south to the central coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Cheilio inermis

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Cigar Wrasse specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The Cigar Wrasse is found on coral reefs down to a depth of 30 m, but is most often seen in shallower areas of algae and seagrass.

Feeding and Diet

The species eats a range of foods including molluscs, crustaceans and sea urchins.

Classification

Species:
inermis
Genus:
Cheilio
Family:
Labridae
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  3. Myers, R.F. 1999. Micronesian Reef Fishes. Coral Graphics. Pp. 330.
  4. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


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Tags fish, ichthyology, Cigar Wrasse, Cheilio inermis, green, silver, black, long and skinny, 30 cm - 1 m, countershaded, coral reef, marine, adult,