juvenile Choat's Wrasse Click to enlarge image
A juvenile Choat's Wrasse at a depth of 8m, Fly Point Marine Reserve, Port Stephens, New South Wales, April 2010. Image: Dave Harasti
© Dave Harasti

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    choati
    Genus
    Macropharyngodon
    Family
    Labridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    Choat's Wrasse grows to 11 cm in length.

Introduction

The Choat's Wrasse is common on the southern Great Barrier Reef. Their habitat ranging from coastal to inner reefs, from shallow algae reefs to the slopes of deep rubble drop-offs.



Identification

Choat's Wrasse can be recognised by its distinctive colouration. Juveniles have a whitish body with large orange blotches. The pelvic fins and the elevated anterior portion of the dorsal fin are orange anteriorly and white behind.

As a fish grows, its colour pattern slowly changes. Adults have irregular rows of orange blotches on the body. On the operculum there is a black spot edged with yellow above and behind.

Distribution

The species is endemic to Australia. It occurs from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland 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.



References

  1. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  3. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.