Fiveband Wrasse Click to enlarge image
A Fiveband Wrasse at a depth of 12m, Ribbon Reef #3, Great Barrier Reef off Cooktown, Queensland, December 2001. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    fasciatus
    Genus
    Hemigymnus
    Family
    Labridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 80 cm in length.

Introduction

The Fiveband Wrasse is a tropical marine fish that can be found in areas of sand, rubble and coral.

Identification

Adult Fiveband Wrasse have a darkish body with four narrow white bars on the sides. The head is yellow-green with irregular pink lines. The caudal fin is either yellow or black.

Juveniles look similar to adults, but have a dark head, and the white bars are narrower. The caudal fin is dark.

Habitat

Fiveband Wrasse inhabit areas of sand, rubble and coral. It is found in depths from 1 m to 40 m. Juveniles are more commonly found among branching corals.

Distribution

The species occurs in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific, from the Red Sea, throughout South-east Asia and Micronesia, north to Japan, south to Australia and east to the Ducie Islands.

In Australia it is known from the north-western coast of Western Australia, around the tropical north of the country to the southern 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.



Feeding and diet

Adult Fiveband Wrasse feed on benthic invertebrates, crustaceans, polychaetes, brittle stars, sea urchins and molluscs. Juveniles feed mainly on planktonic crustaceans.

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. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 469.
  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. 251.