Hawai'i Coral Reef Network

Fishes of Hawai'i

 Family Labridae - wrasses

Bodianus bilunulatus - Hawaiian hogfish - 'A'awa wav.gif (916 bytes)
Description: females are yellow & white, with black on head and base of soft dorsal. Males are purplish-blue with light blotches on lower jaw, caudal projections.
Size: to 45 cm
Habitat: found on reefs from 25 to 110 ft.
Diet: feed on mollusks, urchins, brittle stars, crabs, and some small fishes

Cheilinus unifasciatus - Ringtail wrasse - Po'ou wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: varies from reddish to greenish, vertical white bar on caudal peduncle; jutting lower jaw; large head
Size: to 45 cm
Habitat: often found hovering over the bottom looking for food
Diet: carnivorous: fishes (surgeon and filefish), crabs, brittle stars and urchins

Coris flavovittata - Yellowstripe coris - Hilu wav.gif (916 bytes) "Well-behaved"

Description: black with yellow horizontal striping (white from distance): juvenile - brown with longitudinal yellowish stripes; female (pictured)- whitish ventrally, brown dorsally with 2 longitudinal stripes; male - spot on opercal, blue/green/white mottling
Size: to 50 cm
Habitat: solitary reef dwellers
Diet: carnivore: urchins, gastropods and other invertebrates

Coris gaimard - Yellowtail coris - Hnlea `Akilolo wav.gif (916 bytes) "Headache"
Description: juvenile - red with black & white spots (x5); female - bright blue spots caudally, yellow tail; male - subdued blue spots caudally, yellow tail, bicolor dorsal & anal
Size: to 37 cm
Habitat: Found on most Hawaiian reefs
Diet: carnivore: mollusks, crabs and hermit crabs

Coris venusta - Elegant coris

Description: mostly shades of brown with mottled red markings; head with pinkish lines radiating from mouth; parallel diagonal cross-bars below midline; dark spot at posterior dorsal base
Size: to 17.5 cm
Habitat: shallow water on reefs
Diet: carnivore: pelecypods, gastropods and many other invertebrates

Gomphosus varius - Bird wrasse - Hnlea `Akilolo wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: female - long snout with reddish color and white face with black body; male - long snout and dull green
Size: to 30 cm
Habitat: very active fish commonly found on inshore reef areas
Diet: carnivores: small benthic crustaceans; crabs, shrimps, brittle stars and mollusks

Halichoeres ornatissimus - Ornate wrasse - Hilu wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: orange head and spotting laterally; iridescent green markings, one or two black spots on dorsal fin
Size: to 15 cm
Habitat: commonly found inshore on reefs
Diet: carnivore: small benthic crustaceans and mollusks

Labroides phthirophagus - Hawaiian cleaner wrasse

Description: yellow, purple, blue longitudinal stripes; usually a yellow head with a bar through the eye in adults; ""jerky"" swimming"
Size: to 10 cm
Habitat: found from 2 to 300 feet
Diet: eats the crustacean ecto-parasites off fish, as well as some mucus and old scales

Stethojulis balteata - Belted wrasse - 'Omaka wav.gif (916 bytes)
Description: female - greenish, yellow pectoral axil; male - longitudinal orange stripe (pectoral to caudal)
Size: to 15cm
Habitat: reef zones
Diet: Ffeds mainly on pelecypods, peanut worms, gastropods, and small crustaceans

Thallosoma ballieui - Blacktail wrasse - Hnlea Luahine wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: dark tail at peduncle with white posterior caudal; brownish or grayish; numerous short vertical brown marks; bluish on chin and belly; juveniles = monochromatic greenish/yellowish
Size: to 37.5 cm
Habitat: only found in Hawaiian waters on reefs
Diet: crustaceans of all sorts as well as fish and gastropods

Thallosoma duperrey - Saddle wrasse - Hnlea Lauwili wav.gif (916 bytes)

Description: distinct saddle behind head
Size: to 25 cm
Habitat: only found in Hawaiian waters, often the most abundant reef fish.
Diet: small Invertebrates and crustaceans


Last update: 1/25/2005