Luculent Wrasse Click to enlarge image
A 12 cm long Luculent Wrasse photographed in an aquarium. The fish was caught by T. Kelly at Middle Beach, Lord Howe Island, New South Wales, September 2001. Image: Geoff Kelly
© Geoff Kelly

Fast Facts

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

Introduction

Luculentus Wrasse changes colour phase depending on life stage and gender. The species is recorded from Australia and New Zealand.

Identification

Luculentus Wrasse, like many species of wrasses, goes through different colour phases depending on life stage and gender. Large males can be recognised by a series of black and white blotches along the base of the dorsal fin. Females have white stripes on the cheek and white spots on the lower half of the body but lack the blotches seen in males.

Distribution

It is recorded from New Zealand and Australia. In Australia it is known from marine coastal waters of northern New South Wales to northern Victoria, but is much more common at Lord Howe Island.

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

Food consists of small crustaceans and hermit crabs (Francis, 2001). Juveniles are facultative cleaner symbionts (Ayling & Grace, 1971). Thank you to Dr Barry Russell for supplying this information.

References

  1. Ayling, A.M. & R.V. Grace. 1971: Cleaning symbiosis among New Zealand fishes. New Zealand journal of marine and freshwater research 5:205-218.
  2. Edgar, G.J. 1997. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Reed Books. Pp. 544.
  3. Francis, M.P. 2001. Coastal Fishes of New Zealand An Identification Guide (3rd ed). ReedBooks, Auckland.
  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. Russell, B.C. 1988. Revision of The Labrid Fish Genus Pseudolabrus and Allied Genera. Records of the Australian Museum. Supplement 9: 1-72, pl. 1-4.