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
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 0 - 40 m (Ref. 2334), usually 1 - 5 m (Ref. 90102). Tropical; 30°N - 32°S
Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 17.0 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4392)
soft rays: 10 - 12. Males display with brilliant colors, red lines turning purple and often the abdomen bright yellow (Ref. 48636). Two uneven red stripes on dorsal half of body, 1 from below dorsal-fin origin onto upper caudal lobe, the other from above pectoral-fin base to caudal peduncle. Pectoral fins with green base and dark pectoral fins (Ref 9823).
Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Hawaiian, Marquesan, and Tuamoto islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands. Replaced by Thalassoma cupido from southern Japan to Taiwan, Thalassoma heiseri in Pitcairn, and Thalassoma loxum at Oman (Ref. 37816). Reported hybrids with Thalassoma jansenii in Banda Sea, Indonesia and with Thalassoma nigrofasciatum in Holmes Reef, Coral Sea (Ref. 57554).
Found in clear outer lagoon reefs (Ref. 9710) and exposed seaward reefs. Abundant in shallow exposed areas with surge channels (Ref. 9710, 48636), with gutters, large Acropora plates and algae bottom (Ref. 48636). Benthopelagic (Ref. 58302). Males are often in small loose numbers, swimming over reef sections where small groups of females stay close to the bottom. Juveniles secretive in shallow gutters (Ref. 48636). Feed mainly on benthic crustaceans (crabs, shrimps), small fishes, gastropod mollusks, and sea urchins.
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.
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 90363)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on empirical models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5000 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.6 ±0.56 se; Based on food items.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): High, minimum population doubling time less than 15 months (Preliminary K or Fecundity.).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): Low to moderate vulnerability (27 of 100) .