Cheilinus trilobatus Click to enlarge image
A Tripletail Maori Wrasse caught on hook and line at a depth of 2m, near Ningaloo Reef Marina, Western Australia, September 2007. Image: Marc Ashbil
© Marc Ashbil

Fast Facts

  • Classification
    Species
    trilobatus
    Genus
    Cheilinus
    Family
    Labridae
    Order
    Perciformes
    Class
    Actinopterygii
    Subphylum
    Vertebrata
    Phylum
    Chordata
    Kingdom
    Animalia
  • Size Range
    The species grows to about 45 cm in length.

Introduction

The Tripletail Maori Wrasse is greenish to brownish with a vertical red and green line on each scale. The species occurs in tropical inshore and coral reef waters of the Indo-west and Central Pacific.

Identification

The Tripletail Maori Wrasse is greenish to brownish with a vertical red and green line on each scale. The head and thorax have orange-red dots and irregular lines. There is a white band on the caudal peduncle and another on the base of the caudal fin. The caudal fin of males is rounded with elongate upper and lower lobes.

Habitat

It occurs in tropical inshore and coral reef waters.

Distribution

The species occurs in the Indo-west and Central Pacific. In Australia it is known from off central to north-western Western Australia and northern Queensland to northern 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 Tripletail Maori Wrasse feeds mainly on small fishes.

References

  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. 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.
  3. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.