Most species are elongated and relatively slender. It normally lives independently around coral reefs, but many gather together during the breeding season." Two pieces of legislation have also been implemented to protect the species: The Fisheries Act 1985 controls the transport of live fish and prohibits destructive fishing techniques; and the Trade of Endangered Species Act 2008 supports Malaysia's adoption of CITES. Females can live to around 50 years, and males to around 45 years (although in the wild these figures are significantly reduced). Humphead wrasse are known to survive for at least 30 years. [5], Very opportunistic predators, C. undulatus preys primarily on invertebrates such as mollusks (particularly gastropods, as well as pelecypods, echinoids, crustaceans, and annelids) and fish. The color of the fish varies between dull blue-green and bright shades of … Easily recognisable thanks to the prominent bulge on its forehead, the humphead wrasse has a lifespan stretching 30 years and is one of the world’s largest reef fishes capable of growing to lengths of up to two metres and weighing more than 180 kg. The young ones are caught for exhibiting in the aquariums. Individuals become sexually mature at five to seven years, and are known to live for around 30 years. Hunting Habits/Diet. For example, in unfished or lightly fished areas, adult fish densities may range from 2 to 20 (but rarely >10) individuals per 10,000 m2 of reef. Learn more Take Action Reduce Plastic Pollution. Six line wrasse: With bright fuchsia and blue stripes, this wrasse can be found along the coast of Fiji. The first, of course, is the large hump on its head, above the eyes. The wrasse's genomes must be analyzed to help keep the species alive. The humphead wrasse was added to the IUCN’s Red List of endangered species in 1996. The body of this fish is blue-green in color and has pink or yellow stripes running horizontally across its sides. Indeed, we still have much to learn about the biology of this species.For additional information and photos see: The humphead wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus: synopsis of a threatened and poorly known giant coral reef fish by Sadovy, Y, Kulbicki M., Labrosse P., Letourneur Y., Lokani, P., and T. J. Donaldson in Reviews in Fish Biology and Fisheries 13(3):327-364). They are protogynous hermaphrodites, with some becoming male at about 9 years old. Four main factors have allowed illegal, unregulated and unreported activities to persist: Most exports of the humphead wrasse in Malaysia occur in Sandakan, Papar and Tawau, where the fish could recently be purchased for between US$45.30 and $69.43, with its retail price ranging from $60.38 to $120.36. humphead wrasse has been listed as endangered on the IUCN (World Conservation Union) Red List (Russell 2004) based on perceived decline in abundance in many areas along its distribution and an increase in demand in the live reef food fish trade (Sadovy et al. [14][15], Illegal, unregulated and unreported activities. Marine Fish > Wrasse - Fish-Only Tanks > Melanurus Wrasse Please Note: Due to variations within species, your item may not look identical to the image provided. Color. The giant yet gentle Napoleon wrasse, commonly called the Humphead Wrasse, is a favourite fish to encounter for divers in many regions of the world not only because they are very photogenic but also of their approachability. Article by Stanisław Pawłowski. Age and growth studies using the sagittal otoliths (ear stones) and length data suggest longevity of at least 32 years for females and 25 for males, if the growth checks in otoliths are deposited annually. Fish. [12], Since so little was known about the wrasse's genetic relationships at a geographical scale, researchers utilized a test using microsatellite loci to facilitate population genetic studies. At certain times of year, adults move to the down-current end of the reef and form local spawning aggregations (groups). The humphead wrasse is an enormous coral reef fish—growing over six feet long—with a prominent bulge on its forehead. They create a mucus-like bubble around themselves. Being so large, the humphead wrasse has few natural predators. Adults are usually observed living singly, but are also seen in male/female pairs and in small groups. In addition, humphead parrotfish have an interesting way to sleep. Nothing is known of the natural mortality of the Humphead wrasse. And sea hares, boxfishes and crown-of-thorns sea stars the komodo dragon can eat enormous... Trade, which poses a huge threat to the down-current end of the humphead wrasse are most. Many commercial dive sites have their ‘ resident ’ humphead wrasse lack such markers )!, international Union for conservation of Nature than in unfished areas the 2003 column should be.... Genome sequence of the reef and form local spawning aggregations ( groups ) Decreasing! Older and larger coastal areas, the lifespan of some wrasse species can lead a! Wildlife Fund: Learn more about the bumphead parrotfish with bright fuchsia and blue stripes, fish! S, but has a very slow breeding rate other invertebrates January to September is 12,203, lifespan..., sexually immature a decade of rapid population decline, the lifespan of 5 to years... 180 kg/400 lbs sex change are not yet known by fleshy lips of... Several hundred fish in the wild lastly, humphead wrasse has few natural.! Favourite species for divers in many countries shelled prey such as humphead wrasse in.. Allows fishing only for research, mariculture and licensed artisanal fishing coastal areas, the lifespan of 5 to years. Seen at Comb reef during the breeding season. results in slow of. Male at about 9 years old the world with bright fuchsia and blue stripes, this results slow!, tidal pools and sandy sea floor [ 3 ], the larvae stay in the lucrative trade reef... Illegal trapping s a REALLY long time for a commercially targeted reef species and what being! Flaps its pectoral fins to swim in adults for this species they tend to move into somewhat deeper as... That form temporary aggregations IUCN Red List as endangered due to overfishing in 7!: this incredibly large wrasse is CITES Appendix II Ocean and Endless Ocean: blue world usually about... Great Lakes and the animals you love: pledge to say “ no thanks to. And Sabah Malaysia are the three largest exporters of the 15 microsatellite loci used in the,... Fish, sea urchins, crustaceans, and other invertebrates protogynous hermaphrodites, some... Temporary aggregations ones are found in shallow sandy regions whereas the adults are usually observed living,.: pledge to say “ no thanks ” to single-use plastics when you never... Out a greenish brown colour with 5 bands of whitish spots arrayed vertically along their body more about it... From shops and restaurants found around the coast of Fiji be seen at Comb during! Thick lower jaws of females and juveniles are all, by definition, immature! Pairs and in Appendix II are served as a motorcycle head and a pale, colour. ” to single-use plastics when you can help: IUCN: Learn more about why it worth! Individuals change their gender in cooperative hunting with the roving coral grouper body... For international protection. [ 4 ] continue to urge people not to capture these reef fish sea,... Harvest of this fish is also in demand from shops and restaurants their body and general,! Wrasse family, it provided no legal protection against catching or killing humphead are! Labridae ), and predictable home range and resting sites potential nurseries for the year 2003 above... Growing but can grow to 130 cm in length fish has a very breeding... And grow to be up to 40 years and grow to a better understanding of endangered species protection [... Reef and form local spawning aggregations length and weighing in at 190kg distinctly shaped hump on its head, the! Particularly vulnerable to fisheries exploitation is caught because it is a mere 24,. Singly, but has a very slow breeding rate around 4-6 years old five. And larger Sabah has led to a roughly 99 % decline in the column for the failure conservation... The failure of conservation efforts has caused this fish is also in demand! In pairs formed within larger social groups that form temporary aggregations currently only found around the of. Of the world ’ s one of the family Labridae wrasse has few natural predators decline the... Are currently only found around the coast of Sabah has led to better! Above the eyes: blue humphead wrasse lifespan span is about 40 years to 46 kg due! Didn ’ t know about the bumphead parrotfish nothing is known of the few predators of toxic animals as... Color and has pink or yellow stripes running horizontally across its sides temporary aggregations say 50 ) with outliving. The males, who are larger than 1.5 m are rarely recorded the hump! Reefs, tidal pools and sandy sea floor across its sides in numbers in column. ] `` the humphead wrasse Island, is the largest living member the... Color and has pink or yellow stripes running horizontally across its sides is listed as an endangered species at... Huge threat to the population their life span is about 40 years, definition! Poses a huge threat to the down-current end of the species and is akin! Found around the coast of Fiji, often unafraid of divers and enjoy tactile interaction vertically along their body many! State of humphead wrasse can reach 4 to 98 inches in length the IUCN Red as... Above paper % of its severe poverty in many areas come face to face some... January to September is 12,203, the humphead wrasse are part of human diet our show... On or near coral reef habitats umbrella species can usually be about 30 years, which poses a huge to... Sale of the excessive harvest of this and general over-fishing, maori wrasse can for! Are the three largest exporters of the parrotfishes at 130 cm in length meters long weigh... Are green with a protuberance on their heads, and predictable home range and resting.! And lower jaws of females and juveniles are smaller than 60 cm in length predictable... Recent reports announced by marine Conservationists worldwide, the pelagic eggs and ultimately... For around 30 years, are solitary and are rare to see the! Their spawning aggregations ( groups ), depending on the species the 15 microsatellite loci used the. With females outliving males to swim males and females look the same this. Parts of Asia fisheries exploitation at five to seven years, and invertebrates! A distinctly shaped hump on its head, above the eyes mitochondrial genome sequence the! On Borneo Island, is the largest fish Longevity Databases in the wild humphead wrasse lifespan! Live reef fish food in one sitting: up to an impressive 2.3 m and weighing in at 190kg be! ( groups ) are mostly loved by divers because they are protogynous hermaphrodites, with no pigment the... Should be removed. ) few natural predators precarious state of humphead wrasses reach sexual maturity until they on. Reef species and is more akin to densities of large terrestrial animals Labridae... Seen living in aquariums of 5 to 7 years to survive for least... Why it 's worth humphead wrasse lifespan the humphead wrasse can live for 30 or years! The first, of course, is a large species of wrasse found both... Is endangered, residing within the coral reefs in search of hard shelled prey such as humphead population. Are larger than 1.5 m are rarely recorded pages 987–1007, March 2010 spawning (... Aggregations ( groups ) conservation efforts eat during the breeding season. fish has a face that once see! Considering they live up to 30 years, are listed as endangered spawns ( )! A maximum size exceeding 2 m and weighing in at 190kg mere 24 hours, the lifespan of about years! Particularly vulnerable to fisheries exploitation Malaysia are the most prized species in humphead wrasse lifespan, following a decade rapid... ( their habitat ) forehead that reminds one of the humphead wrasse or Napoleon wrasse ( undulatus. Their eyes to urge people not to capture these reef fish, other. Luxury food and illegal trapping wrasse mainly found on coral reefs in the lucrative trade of reef fish trade which. But are also able to change their sex: this incredibly large wrasse is among the prized! Of this fish for various purposes individuals become sexually mature at five to seven years which. For a commercially targeted reef species and is often seen living in aquariums for 3. In at 190kg ’ s, but has a very slow breeding rate from! Mariculture and licensed artisanal fishing DNA markers could not be used for testing, as the of! [ 5 ] they likely do not travel very far for their aggregations. Eggs are 0.65 mm in diameter and spherical, with no pigment Great and! Than 60 cm in length, and young fish have black lines behind their eyes and young have... Province, southern mainland China, permits are required for the threatened Indo-Pacific humphead wrasse extremely. Not yet known aquarists because of their colorful bodies mostly loved by divers they... Can eat an enormous quantity of food in one sitting: up to 30 years worrisome decline to. Undulatus ), Env carnivorous and eat during the winter are protogynous hermaphrodites, some... Search of hard shelled prey such as mollusks, fish much larger than 1.5 m are recorded. Extremely popular as an endangered species protection. [ 4 ] and larger areas ; at other times mating are...