Australian Biological Resources Study

Australian Faunal Directory

Labridae: Labrinae

Labridae: Labrinae

Labridae: Labrinae

Labridae: Labrinae

Labridae: Labrinae

Labridae: Labrinae

<I>Heteroscarus acroptilus</I> from Sydney

Heteroscarus acroptilus from Sydney


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External Links

CAAB: 37384000

Subfamily Labrinae

Cales, Rock Whitings, Weed Whitings, Wrasses

Compiler and date details

28 June 2017 - Gerald R. Allen, Matthew M. Lockett, Douglass F. Hoese, Dianne J. Bray, Norbert J. Cross, Connie J. Allen & Martin F. Gomon

Gerald R. Allen, Norbert J. Cross, Connie J. Allen & Martin F. Gomon


Worldwide, subfamily Labrinae comprises 454 described species and approximately 29 undescribed species, currently assigned to about 68 genera (Parenti & Randall 2000). In Australia and territorial waters, 221 described species in 52 genera are thus far known. Many of the Australian species are treated in Westneat (2001), Allen & Erdmann (2012) and Kuiter (2002, 2010).

Wrasses are widely distributed in all tropical and temperate seas. Most species occur in the vicinity of tropical coral reefs, over sand, rubble, weed, or coral substrata. Southern species are most common in areas of weed and rocky reef. Labrines are active diurnally, feeding on a variety of benthic and pelagic invertebrates. Female to male sex reversal and associated dichromatism is common in the majority of species that have been studied. Most species are medium sized (about 20–40 cm), although the giant maori wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) attains a maximum length of about 2 m. Humans frequently consume many of the larger species, but wrasses do not form the basis of a dedicated commercial fishery.

Many of the tropical species were treated by de Beaufort (1940) and Fowler & Bean (1928). Generic revisions of primarily tropical taxa include those of Anampses, Hologymnosus, Labropsis, Leptojulis, Macropharyngodon, Stethojulis and Pseudocheilinus by Randall (1972, 1974, 1978, 1981, 1982, 1996, 1999a, 2000), of Suezichthys by Russell (1985), of Australian Coris by Randall & Kuiter (1982) and Randall (1999b), and of Australian Pseudojuloides by Ayling & Russell (1977). Many of the tropical species were illustrated and diagnosed by Randall et al. (1990). Russell (1988) comprehensively reviewed the temperate genera Austrolabrus, Dotalabrus, Eupetrichthys, Notalabrus, Pictilabrus, and Pseudolabrus. The tribe Hypsigenyini, which includes the genera Achoerodus, Bodianus, Choerodon, Decodon and Xiphocheilus, was reviewed by Gomon (1997). In addition, Westneat, Gomon and Randall are currently revising the genera Cheilinus and Oxycheilinus; one of the new Oxycheilinus species was incorrectly identified as Oxycheilinus orientalis in Kuiter (1993).

This section was compiled with the assistance of R. Kuiter and B. Russell.


Excluded Taxa

Other Excluded

LABRIDAE: Odax Valenciennea, 1840 [genus is now considered endemic to New Zealand with two species O. cyanoallix and O. pullus] — Gomon, M.F., Stewart, A.L. & Clements, K.D. 2015. Tribe Hypsigenyini. pp. 1367-1373 in Roberts, C.D., Stewart, A.L. & Struthers, C.D. (eds). The Fishes of New Zealand. Wellington : Te Papa Press Vol. 4 pp. 1153-1748. [1372]

LABRIDAE: Xyrichtys Cuvier, 1814 [restricted to New World, species moved to other genera in Australia] — Parenti, P. & Randall, J.E. 2011. Checklist of the species of the families Labridae and Scaridae: an update. Smithiana, Publications in Aquatic Biodiversity, Bulletin 13: 29-44


General References

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Ayling, A.M. & Russell, B.C. 1977. The labrid fish genus Pseudojuloides with description of a new species. The Australian Zoologist 19(2): 169-178 figs 1-10

de Beaufort, L.F. 1940. The Fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago. Percomorphi (continued), Cirrhitoidea, Labriformes, Pomacentriformes. Leiden : Brill Vol. 8 508 pp. 56 figs.

Fowler, H.W. & Bean, B.A. 1928. Contributions to the biology of the Philippine Archipelago and adjacent regions. The fishes of the families Pomacentridae, Labridae and Callyodontidae, collected by the United States Bureau of Fisheries Steamer Albatross, chiefly in Philippine seas and adjacent waters. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 100(7): 1-525 pls 1-49

Gomon, M.F. 1997. Relationships of fishes of the labrid tribe Hypsigenyini. Bulletin of Marine Science 60(3): 789-871 figs 1-39, 4 tables

Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses and their Relatives. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 207 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398.

Parenti, P. & Randall, J.E. 2000. An annotated checklist of the species of the labroid fish families Labridae and Scaridae. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J.L.B. Smith Institute, Grahamstown 68: 1-97

Randall, J.E. 1972. A revision of the labrid fish genus Anampses. Micronesica 8(1–2): 151-190 figs 1-10 pls 1-3

Randall, J.E. 1974. Notes and color illustrations of labrid fishes of the genus Anampses. UO. Japanese Society of Ichthyologists 21: 10-16 figs 1-2

Randall, J.E. 1978. A revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fish genus Macropharyngodon, with descriptions of five new species. Bulletin of Marine Science 28(4): 742-770 figs 1-6

Randall, J.E. 1981. Revision of the labrid fish genus Labropsis with descriptions of five new species. Micronesica 17(1–2): 125-155 figs 1-3 pls 1-5

Randall, J.E. 1982. A review of the labrid fish genus Hologymnosus. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 9(1): 13-20 figs 1-10

Randall, J.E. 1996. Second revision of the labrid fish genus Leptojulis, with descriptions of two new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 24: 1-20

Randall, J.E. 1999. Revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fishes of the genus Coris, with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 29: 1-74 pls 1-7 pls 1-22

Randall, J.E. 1999. Revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fishes of the genus Pseudocheilinus, with descriptions of three new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 28: 1-34 figs 1-4 pls 1-2

Randall, J.E. 2000. Revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fishes of the genus Stethojulis, with descriptions of two new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 31: 1-42 figs 1-9

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E. & Kuiter, R.H. 1982. Three new labrid fishes of the genus Coris from the western Pacific. Pacific Science 36(2): 159-173 figs 1-5

Russell, B.C. 1985. Revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fish genus Suezichthys, with descriptions of four new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 2: 1-21 figs 1-7 pls 1-3

Russell, B.C. 1988. Revision of the labrid fish genus Pseudolabrus and allied genera. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 9: 1-72

Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. pp. 3381-3467 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.


History of changes

Note that this list may be incomplete for dates prior to September 2013.
Published As part of group Action Date Action Type Compiler(s)
27-Jul-2017 LABROIDEI 12-Nov-2019 MODIFIED Dr Dianne Bray (NMV) Dr Doug Hoese (AM) Dr Matthew Lockett (AM)
12-Feb-2010 (import)