Animal Species:Thicklip Wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus (Bloch, 1791)

 As its standard name implies, adult fish have thick lips.

Standard Common Name

Thicklip Wrasse

Alternative Name/s

Blackeye Thicklip, Half & Half Wrasse


Adults are grey anteriorly, becoming dark posteriorly.  Young fish look quite different to the adults.

Size range

The species grows to about 60 cm in length.


The Thicklip Wrasse occurs in the Indo-west Pacific region.  In Australia it is recorded from central and north-western Western Australia and from northern Queensland to Sydney, 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.

Hemigymnus melapterus


  1. Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae Fishes: Wrasses. Aquatic Photographics. Pp. 398.
  2. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Thicklip Wrasse, Hemigymnus melapterus, Labridae, fishes, marine, ichthyology, grey, gray, scale margins, yellow, white, juvenile, young, black, half,