UK Record Weights from
MAFF Minimum Size: Shore:
The body of this wrasse is deep set, with a reasonably large rounded head, small eyes, and a large mouth with thick lips. Small teeth are to be found in a single row in the jaws, with enlarged teeth at the front.
The preoperculum (gill cover) is greatly serrated, both on the lower edges (ventrally), and on it's rear (hind edge).
It sports a long based dorsal fin with two connected sections. The anterior is composed of 14 to 17 membrane bound spines, whilst the posterior portion has 8 to 10 branched rays. The anal fin normally has 3 anterior spines followed by 8-10 branched rays.
The interorbit area is naked of scales. There is 1 scale behind the eye, whilst the opercle region is more or less scaled. The body scales are large, with 4.5 to 5.5 rows between the base of the dorsal fin and the lateral line. Some 32 to 36 body scales run the length of the lateral line.
Colouration is highly variable, although usually green to greenish brown, with darker pigmentation associated with the back and upper sides, whitish belly, with body scales highlighted by brownish spacing. A black smudge is to be found in front of the fin rays of the tail, below the lateral line. There is often a crescent shaped dark patch behind the eye. Males have blue/green, wavy or curved lines on the head.
This image is provided free for educational purposes by the Calypso Photolibrary. Unauthorised reproduction is illegal.
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