Moon Wrasse, Thalassoma lunare Click to enlarge image
A Moon Wrasse at Halifax Park, Nelson Bay, New South Wales. Image: Matt Dowse
© Matt Dowse

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    lunare
    Genus
    Thalassoma
    Family
    Labridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to 30 cm in length.

Introduction

The Moon Wrasse is green with vertical red lines on the body scales and a crescent moon-shaped yellow patch on the caudal fin. The species is found in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Indo-Pacific.

Identification

The Moon Wrasse is green with vertical red lines on the body scales. The caudal fin is truncate in juveniles but changes to lunate in adults. Juveniles are blue on the lower half of the body. They have a black spot in the middle of the dorsal fin and a black blotch on the caudal fin base.

Distribution

The species is found in tropical and warm temperate waters of the Indo-Pacific. In Australia it is known from south-western Western Australia, around the tropical north and south to the southern 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.



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.