Green Moon Wrasse Click to enlarge image
A Green Moon Wrasse at a depth of 15m, South Solitary Island, New South Wales, April 2000. Image: Erik Schlögl
© Erik Schlögl

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    lutescens
    Genus
    Thalassoma
    Family
    Labridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 25 cm in length.

Introduction

The Green Moon Wrasse is a beautifully coloured fish, which changes its colour with growth. It is found in tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific.



Identification

The Green Moon Wrasse changes colour with growth. Juveniles are brown to green-yellow and have pale orange lines on the head. Males are green-yellow. The pectoral fin is yellow and blue with a black margin. There are salmon-coloured lines on the head. The side of the body behind the pectoral fin is blue. The caudal fin of juveniles is rounded but becomes lunate in mature males.

Distribution

The Green Moon Wrasse is known from tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is recorded from south-western to north-western Western Australia and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland 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 feeds on a variety of invertebrates.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Allen, G.R. & R. Swainston. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 201.
  3. 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.
  4. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  5. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  6. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  7. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.