Fun Wrasse Facts For Kids

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Jan 13, 2023 By Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Isobel Murphy
Wrasses are distinguished by their thick-lipped mouths.

Who doesn't like to watch pretty fish in the ocean or aquarium? We are here to introduce you to a family of wrasse fish with attractive bright colors. Wrasse (or wrasses) are a huge family of marine fish ranging in small to big size. They belong to the family of Labridae and this is the fish's scientific name.

Wrasses are typically known for their thick-lipped mouths and, due to their unique lips, they are known in Germany as lip-fishes. These fish are carnivores and prey on a wide range of small invertebrates. They are known to support and balance the ecological system of waters and oceans with their cleansing property of eating dead tissues.

Some of the famous fish from the Labridae family are the humphead wrasse, the six-line wrasse, the saltwater wrasse, the leopard wrasse, the Melanurus wrasse, the cleaner wrasse, the Thalassoma Wrasse, and the Coris gormaid yellowtail wrasse. With 45 species recognized, Cirrhilabrus is the second largest genus in the wrasse family.

The gorgeously colored Pseudocheilinus is native to the Indian and Pacific oceans. Pseudocheilinus are known for their beautiful looks and intelligence.

Wrasse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is a wrasse?

The word wrasse definitely makes us curious, as we don't hear it often. A wrasse is a fish, and wrasses are a wide range of fish, with 45 different species of wrasse out there to discover.

What class of animal does a wrasse belong to?

These fish belong to the class of Actinopterygii. It is a subclass of Osteichthyes. Members of Actinopterygii are ray-finned fish and bony fish.

How many wrasses are there in the world?

The Labridae family is spread all over the world, with over 600 species in 82 genera. They live in huge water bodies, and a few wrasses are even found in coral reefs. Therefore, it is difficult to evaluate the exact number of wrasse fish in the world.

Where does a wrasse live?

Wrasses live in oceans spread over different parts of the world, especially in the Indian, Pacific, and Atlantic oceans. Small or juvenile wrasse fish move in groups, whereas larger fish are solitary.

What is a wrasse's habitat?

Wrasses are found in the marine habitat of tropical and subtropical waters. They live in oceans and in coral reefs. Reefs are a group of colonies of coral polyps bound together by calcium carbonate.

Who do wrasse live with?

Smaller wrasses move in groups with other wrasse fish, and larger wrasses, like a humphead wrasse, mostly move alone and choose not to live in groups. The wrasse can be aggressive when new fish are introduced into their atmosphere, particularly saltwater fish.

How long does a wrasse live?

With the abundance of different species in the Labridae family, the lifespan of these fishes ranges from three years to 30 years.

How do they reproduce?

Wrasse reproduction involves the male and female releasing sperm and eggs into the water. Fertilization of the egg happens in the water.

Wrasse species are well known for the fact that the fish can change sex during their lifetimes. After a certain period of time, a female can become a male in the absence of the family's dominant male. This is done in order to preserve the population of the species in the family.

What is their conservation status?

The conservation status of wrasse fish is different for different species of wrasse. Worryingly, the humphead wrasse is classified as Endangered, due to the risk posed by extensive fishing.

Wrasse Fun Facts

What do wrasse look like?

The humphead wrasse is an interesting reef fish with bulged lips.

Wrasse fish are incredibly beautiful as they can be found in bright colors of blue, green, white, yellow, and brown, with some scales in a purple or violet color. They are easily identified by their thick lips, which are clearly noticeable in the humphead wrasse, which is the longest fish of the wrasse family.

They also have two sets of jaws.

How cute are they?

Many people think wrasse fish are very cute and shy. They are certainly beautiful and can make any aquarium look beautiful and fascinating, with so many species of beautiful fish existing within the family.

How do they communicate?

Wrasse fish use body language to communicate, including moving side to side and tilting their heads.

Interestingly, wrasse fish also exhibit cooperation behavior that is commonly known as ecological interaction. This behavior mutually benefits the fish and the environment that they live in as they clean the dead tissues in coral reefs and, in the process, feed on live tissues.

The areas where these wrasses operate are known as 'cleaner stations'.

When another marine animal approaches the coral reef they will visit these cleaner stations. Cleaner wrasses live at cleaning stations and these cleaning stations are occupied by different types of cleaner wrasses, including a group of youths, a pair of adults, or a group of females lead by a dominant male.

When visitors approach the cleaning stations, the cleaner wrasses welcome them by performing a dance-like motion in which they "clean" the visitor (known as a 'client') by getting rid of parasites on the fish's body.

How big is a wrasse?

The humphead wrasse can be as long as 98 in (250 cm), with a weight of 420 lb (191 kg), which is 20 times the size of a normal cleaner wrasse.

How fast can a wrasse swim?

Blue-lined wrasse can swim very fast using little energy. This is thanks to their flexible metabolism and wing-like fins.

How much does a wrasse weigh?

With the presence of a large number of species in the family, the weight of a wrasse varies. The Labridae wrasse is the lightest, weighing anything from 1.21 lb (550 g), and the humphead wrasse, at 420 lb (191 kg), is the heaviest.

What are their male and female names of the species?

There are no specific names for male and female wrasse fish. Remember that wrasse fish are able to change their sex after a certain period of time.

In particular, the female wrasse often becomes a male wrasse in order to play the role of a dominant male in the absence of a male wrasse in their group. Both male and female wrasse fish are born, which can then go onto change sex in their lifetimes.

What would you call a baby wrasse?

Baby wrasse fish do not have any specific names, but they are sometimes known as initial phase individuals or juveniles.

What do they eat?

The humphead wrasse, being the largest breed among the wrasse family, feeds on sea hares, boxfishes, the crown of thorn sea stars. Wrasse fish, in general, are carnivores, and they feed on small fish and invertebrates.

Do humans eat them?

Wrasse fish are edible, but there is little demand from humans to eat wrasse fish at the moment.

Would they make a good pet?

Wrasse fish can indeed be cute and beautiful pets in an aquarium. They are very cute, shy, and colorful fish, making them an exciting sight in any properly-equipped aquarium.

Did you know...

A coral reef is part of an underwater ecosystem that consists of reef-building corals. The cleaner wrasse of the family Labridae is best known for maintaining the coral reef ecosystem.

They have a unique way of feeding themselves using parasites on the skin of larger fish and, in doing this, also clean the larger fishes, contributing to the overall health of the ecosystem.

Amongst the varied species of wrasse, Thalassoma lunare fish belonging to the genus Thalassoma are perhaps the boldest, most vivid wrasse. Thalassoma lunare fish are truly beautiful, have you ever been lucky enough to see one (in a reef or an aquarium!)?

Another genus of the family is the yellowtail wrasse, including the Coris gaimard or Coris wrasse, which lives in the reefs in the Indo Pacific ocean, around Fiji, and the Hawaiian islands. These yellowtail Coris wrasses are also sometimes known as the African clown wrasse.

The name yellowtail Coris wrasse indicates that these yellowtail Coris wrasse fish have yellow tails.

Where do wrasse sleep?

Wrasse fishes are diurnal. This means that they are very active throughout the day and sleep during the night. They sleep under rock shelves or under coral branches and they also have a unique behavior when it comes to sleeping, often burying themselves in the sand while sleeping in order to protect themselves from predators.

How do you pronounce 'wrasse'?

The word 'wrasse' is pronounced as the spelling "ras".

You can even occupy yourself at home by drawing one on our small fish coloring pages.

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Written by Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason

Bachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

Adekunle Olanrewaju Jason picture

Adekunle Olanrewaju JasonBachelor of Science specializing in Mass Communication.

With over 3+ years of professional experience, Olanrewaju is a certified SEO Specialist and Content Writer. He holds a BSc in Mass Communication from the University of Lagos. Throughout his dynamic career, Olanrewaju has successfully taken on various roles with startups and established organizations. He has served as a Technical Writer, Blogger, SEO Specialist, Social Media Manager, and Digital Marketing Manager. Known for his hardworking nature and insightful approach, Olanrewaju is dedicated to continuous learning and improvement.
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