Species Details

Details of Redbreasted wrasse will be displayed below

Redbreasted wrasse   

Common Name: Redbreast Maori wrasse
Scientific Name: Cheilinus fasciatus
Local Name: Fulah hikaa
Dhivehi Name: ފުޅަށްހިކާ
Animalia  (Kingdom)
Chordata  (Plylum)
Perciformes  (Order)
Labridae  (Family)
Cheilinus   (Genus)

Redbreasted wrasse's description

The red-breasted wrasse (Cheilinus fasciatus) is a species of wrasse native to the Indian Ocean and the western Pacific Ocean.

Short description - Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 8. This species is distinguished by the following characters: body moderately deep, its depth 2.35 to 2.6 times in standard length; dorsal profile of head convex; anterior tip of snout forming an acute angle; jaws prominent, especially lower jaw in large individuals; strong canines 2, situated anteriorly in each jaw; no enlarged tooth present on rear of upper jaw; D IX,10, continuous with spines and anterior soft rays of similar length; A III, 8; pectoral fins with ii unbranched and 10 branched rays; pelvic fins short, not reaching anus; caudal fin rounded in juveniles, the upper and lower rays forming elongate lobes in large individuals, giving the fin a trilobed appearance. Lateral line interrupted below posterior portion of dorsal-fin base, with a total of 22-23 pored scales; scales reaching well onto bases of dorsal and anal fins; scales in front of dorsal fin extending forward to above anterior portion of eye; cheek and opercle scaly; lower jaw without scales. Colour of fish with alternating dark (brown to black) and light (yellow to white) vertical bars on body from opercle to caudal fin, 6 dark bars usually broader than 6 light ones, particularly in large individuals; scales with a vertical black streak; breast, pectoral-fin bases, and often anterior sides red; a light yellow-orange area in pectoral region; the small individuals are similarly marked, but often with less red colour and wider pale bars.

Redbreasted wrasse habitat

This species is found in the coastal (Kuiter 2002, 2006), lagoon, seaward reefs, and usually in areas with mixed coral, sand and rubble (Lieske and Myers 1994, Allen 2000) at depths of four to at least 40 m (Myers 1991).

Juveniles of this species are often associated with the sea-grass beds and mangroves that adjacent to coral reefs (Dorenbosch et al. 2006), along edges with algae-rubble and sand, and silty reefs (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001). Small juveniles are mistaken as adult of Wetmorella spp. or mis-identified as Epibulus spp. Due to their thin vertical white barring (Kuiter and Tonozuka 2001, Kuiter 2002).

The jaw is prominent, especially lower jaw in adults, two strong canines situated anteriorly in each jaw and there is no enlarged tooth present on rear or upper jaw of this species. Caudal fin rounded in juveniles, while the upper and lower rays forming extended cadual fin lobes in large individuals, a trilobed appearance. The lateral line of this species is interrupted below the posterior portion of dorsal-fin base with a total of 22 or 23 pored scales (Westneat 2001). It is distinguished by the bright red area at front of body (Allen 2000, Kuiter 2002) and thin orange to red lines radiating from eyes (Kuiter 2006). In large individuals, the six dark bars are usually broader than the six light ones (Westneat 2001).

It feeds primarily upon benthic small hard-shelled invertebrates, such as molluscs, crustaceans and sea urchin (Myers 1991, Westneat 2001) by possessing a strong oral jaw (Sale 2002).

In Marshall Islands, spawning was observed on the winward lagoon. It was found that spawning was not influenced by tidal currents. It spawned in harem with males patrolling territory. Patrolling males swam with the caudal fin folded and the dorsal and anal fin tips folded to points. Spawning activities lasted for almost three hours and concurred with similar activity by male Epibulus insidiator. Females ascended about one to three m over patch reef or coral head when ready to spawn with slow ascending speed (two to four sec. to go up with a length of 1.5 m). Spawning was observed only during afternoon and occurred at different tidal phases. Spawning activities were observed in May and October, while courtship was found in June and November (Colin and Bell 1991).

Further, the mean planktonic larval duration of this species was found to be 25.7 +/- 1.4 days (Victor 1986).

The maximum size is approximately 40 cm SL (Westneat 2001).

Redbreasted wrasse threats

There are no major threats known for this species. This species is caught for food and for the aquarium trade in some parts of its range.

Labrids are frequently captured by recreational and commercial fishers in Australia which are known to contribute to significant reductions in labrid densities (Gladstone 2001, Platten et al. 2002). Majority of the Cheilinus spp. captured by recreational fishers are reported as “wrasse/grouper” making the catch statistics under-representative of the real landings of C. fasciatus. In Gascoyne region, a 12 month survey indicated that 9,677 wrasse/groupers are captured by recreational fishers annually and in Shark Bay, western Australia, 10,082 individuals from wrasse/gropers were fishes annually (Summer et al. 2002). Meanwhile, on the west coast of western Australia, it was found that 65,000 individuals of various species from wrasse/groper were caught in recreational fishing (Summer and Williamson 1999).

Redbreasted wrasse's status