Animal Species:Cloud Wrasse, Halichoeres nebulosus (Valenciennes, 1830)

Adult Cloud Wrasse have a boomerang-shaped pinkish mark on the cheek. The species occurs on coral and rocky reefs in tropical marine waters and some temperate waters of the Indo-West Pacific.

Cloud Wrasse, Halichoeres nebulosus

Ian Shaw © Ian Shaw

Standard Common Name

Cloud Wrasse

Alternative Name/s

Clouded Rainbow-fish, Clouded Rainbowfish, Clouded Wrasse, Nebulous Wrasse

Identification

Adult Cloud Wrasse have a boomerang-shaped pinkish mark on the cheek. The fish in the image is a juvenile in which the anterior part of the boomerang marking is indistinct but the descending posterior region is visible.

Size range

The Cloud Wrasse grows to 12 cm in length.

Similar Species

The Cloud Wrasse is classified in the family Labridae. It looks similar to several other species of Halichoeres (especially the Pink-belly Wrasse H. margaritaceus), but can usually be separated by cheek colouration.

Distribution

It occurs widely in tropical marine waters and some temperate waters of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it occurs off north-western Western Australia and from the northern Great Barrier Reef 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.

Halichoeres nebulosus

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Cloud Wrasse specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?

Habitat

The species is found on coral and rocky reefs.

Classification

Species:
nebulosus
Genus:
Halichoeres
Family:
Labridae
Order:
Perciformes
Class:
Actinopterygii
Subphylum:
Vertebrata
Phylum:
Chordata
Kingdom:
Animalia

What does this mean?

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  6. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.


Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags fish, ichthyology, Nebulous Wrasse, Halichoeres nebulosus, coral, reef, Cloud Wrasse, Labridae, grey, white, red, pink, brown, long and skinny, 10 cm - 30 cm, blotches/mottled, countershaded, rocky reef, marine, adult,