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Thalassoma purpureum  (Forsskål, 1775)

Surge wrasse
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| Native range | All suitable habitat | PointMap | Year 2100 |
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Thalassoma purpureum   AquaMaps   Data sources: GBIF OBIS
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Image of Thalassoma purpureum (Surge wrasse)
Thalassoma purpureum
Picture by Hermosa, Jr., G.V.

Classification / Names Common names | Synonyms | Catalog of Fishes (gen., sp.) | ITIS | CoL | WoRMS | Cloffa

Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes (Perch-likes) > Labridae (Wrasses) > Corinae
Etymology: Thalassoma: Greek, thalassa = the sea + Greek, soma = body; the colour of the sea (Ref. 45335).

Environment / Climate / Range Ecology

Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 10 m (Ref. 30573).   Tropical; 32°N - 32°S

Size / Weight / Age

Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 46.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 30573); max. published weight: 1.2 kg (Ref. 40637)

Short description Morphology | Morphometrics

Dorsal spines (total): 8; Dorsal soft rays (total): 12-14; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 10 - 12. T. purpureum and T. trilobatum have nearly identical initial phases (Ref. 1602). They differ slightly in details of the head markings, and T. purpureum has a slightly longer head, shorter pectoral fins, and attains a larger size (Ref. 1602, 48636). Females best distinguished by the 'V' mark on the snout (Ref. 48636). Initial phase with a vertical dark red line below front of eye usually with a branch to front of snout (Ref 9823).

Distribution Countries | FAO areas | Ecosystems | Occurrences | Point map | Introductions | Faunafri

Indo-Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 4392) to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, and Easter islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe, Kermadec, and Rapa islands. Southeast Atlantic: southeast coast of South Africa (Ref. 4392). Replaced by Thalassoma virens in the Revillagigedo Islands (Ref. 37816).

Biology     Glossary (e.g. epibenthic)

Found almost exclusively in the surge zone of outer reef flats, reef margins, and rocky coastlines, down to a depth of about 10 m (Ref. 5213). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Occur in groups of females that are spread out over large reef sections and dominated by few males. Males grow much larger than females (Ref. 48636). Feed on small invertebrates (crabs, sea urchins, brittlestars, mollusks), small fishes, echinoids, ophiuroids and polychaetes (Ref. 37816). Protogynous (Ref. 55080).

Main reference Upload your references | References | Coordinator : Westneat, Mark | Collaborators

Randall, J.E., G.R. Allen and R.C. Steene, 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 506 p. (Ref. 2334)

IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)

CITES (Ref. 94142)

Not Evaluated

Threat to humans

  Harmless




Human uses

Fisheries: minor commercial; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
FAO(Publication : search) | FisheriesWiki | Sea Around Us

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Estimates of some properties based on models

Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805):  PD50 = 0.5000   [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278):  3.6   ±0.6 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278):  .
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153):  Moderate to high vulnerability (46 of 100) .
Price category (Ref. 80766):   Very high.