Name from Latin 'labrum' for lip, rim or edge; referring to the big lips of the fishes of the genus (from Ovid and Pliny according to Petrus Artedi).
Etymology of specific name :
Name from a Latin adjective meaning 'red' or 'reddish', apparently in reference to the overall reddish yellow coloration of some large individuals of this species. Believed to have been based on Catesby’s (1743) colour figure of this species referred to in Linnaeus’ original description of Labrus rufus, however, the initial-phase adult of B. insularis is also completely red (Ref. 75973).