Wrasse Facts

Wrasse Facts
Wrasse is marine fish that belongs to the Labridae family. There are more than 500 species of wrasse that can be found in tropical and subtropical waters of Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. Wrasse inhabits coastal areas, rocky shores, coral reefs, tidal pools and sandy sea floor. Few species of wrasse are part of human diet. Wrasses are very popular among aquarists because of their colorful bodies. Some species, such as humphead wrasse, are listed as endangered due to over-fishing and destruction of coral reefs (their habitat).
Interesting Wrasse Facts:
Wrasse can reach 4 to 98 inches in length, depending on the species.
Color of the body depends on the species, habitat, age and gender. Wrasse can be white, yellow, orange, red, purple, blue, green, grey, brown or black and covered with numerous bars, stripes and markings.
Wrasse has pointed snout, thick lips and prominent (outward oriented) canine teeth. It has elongated body covered with smooth scales and long dorsal and anal fins.
Wrasse is diurnal fish (active during the day).
Wrasse is a carnivore (meat-eater). Its diet is based on small invertebrates (crabs, shrimps, mollusks, snails and sea urchins) and fish. Wrasse occasionally follows large marine predators and collects leftover of their meals.
Cleaner wrasse (species of wrasse) collects and eats dead tissue and parasites accumulated in the mouth of large marine fish.
Natural enemies of wrasses are lionfish, dogfish, barracuda and sharks.
Wrasse can bury itself in the sand or quickly swim away (thanks to well developed pectoral and caudal fins), to escape from predators. Some species hide among the large tentacles of mushroom coral and sea anemones.
Wrasse can be part of large school (group of fish) or live solitary life.
Some wrasses become solitary, aggressive and territorial when they reach adulthood.
Spawning season of wrasses takes place all year round in tropical waters or during the warm period of year in subtropical and temperate areas.
Some wrasses are born as females, but they change sex and transform into males later in life. These individuals are scientifically known as protogynous hermaphrodites.
Females produce and release thousands of eggs during the spawning season. Some wrasses show parental care. Males guard eggs laid in the algae or various cavities until they hatch. Other species of wrasse produce planktonic eggs which freely float, carried by ocean currents. Incubation period lasts 24 hours on a temperature of 27 degrees of Celsius (lower temperature prolongs incubation period).
Larvae are part of plankton during the first month of their life. After that period, they become large enough to join the community on the coral reefs.
Wrasse can survive 3 to 30 years in the wild (most species live from 3 to 5 years).

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