Cocktail Wrasse, Pteragogus flagellifer Click to enlarge image
A juvenile Cocktail Wrasse at a depth of 3m, Nambucca River Estuary, northern New South Wales, 25 July 2013. Image: Ian Shaw
© Ian Shaw

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    flagellifer
    Genus
    Pteragogus
    Family
    Labridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    12 cm

Introduction

The Cocktail Wrasse is a small tropical labrid that occurs off north-western Western Australia and along most of the Queensland coast.



Identification

The Cocktail Wrasse is yellowish to brown with an indistinct pattern of spots and blotches. Males have elongated dorsal and anal fin spines. Juveniles have a blue blotch on the leading dorsal fin rays. Three species of Pteragogus occur in Australian waters.

Habitat

It is a benthic species that lives in inshore and coral reef waters.

Distribution

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. 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.
  2. Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae Fishes: Wrasses. Aquatic Photographics. Pp. 398.