Animal Species:Humphead Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus Rüppell, 1835
Adult Humphead Maori Wrasse have a relatively deep body, a rounded caudal fin and a hump on the forehead. The species occurs in tropical waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific.
Standard Common Name
Humphead Maori Wrasse
Blue-tooth Groper, Giant Wrasse, Napoleon Wrasse.
Adult Humphead Maori Wrasse have a relatively deep body, a rounded caudal fin and a hump on the forehead. The fish is green with wavy lines on the body and two lines behind both eyes. The species name 'undulatus' comes from the Latin for 'waved' or 'wavy'. The larvae look very different to adults.
It is the largest species in the family Labridae, growing to 2.3 m in length and 190 kg.
The species occurs in tropical waters of the Indo-West and Central Pacific. In Australia it is known from the offshore reefs of north-western Western Australia and the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, Queensland .
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.
Distribution by collection data
It is found in inshore waters and on coral reefs. Larger individuals are usually seen on steep outer reef slopes at depths between 10 m and 100 m.
Feeding and Diet
The Humphead Maori Wrasse feeds on molluscs, fishes, sea urchins, crustaceans and other invertebrates.
- Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
- Choat, J.H., Davies, C.R., Ackerman, J.L. & B.D. Mapstone. 2006. Age structure and growth in a large teleost, Cheilinus undulatus, with a review of size distribution in labrid fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series. 318: 237–246.
- Hoese, D.F., Bray, D.J., Paxton, J.R. & G.R. Allen. 2006. Fishes. in Beesley, P.L. & A. Wells. (eds) Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35. ABRS & CSIRO Publishing: Australia. parts 1-3, pages 1-2178.
- Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.
- Yearsley, G.K., Last, P.R. & R.D. Ward. 1999. Australian Seafood Handbook, an identification guide to domestic species. CSIRO Marine Research. Pp. 461.
Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology