Cigar Wrasse Click to enlarge image
A Cigar Wrasse at a depth of 10m, Fly Point, Port Stephens, New South Wales, August 2003. Image: David & Leanne Atkinson
© David & Leanne Atkinson

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    inermis
    Genus
    Cheilio
    Family
    Labridae
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    It grows to 50 cm in length.

Introduction

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.

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.

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.

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.



Feeding and diet

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

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.