Fun Exquisite Wrasse Facts For Kids

Moumita Dutta
Feb 21, 2024 By Moumita Dutta
Originally Published on Aug 05, 2021
Edited by Katherine Cook
Exquisite wrasse facts encapsulates a wide range of information from their color to their geographical location.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 6.8 Min

The exquisite wrasse (Cirrhilabrus exquisitus), also known as the exquisite fairy wrasse, is a type of ray-finned fish of the order Labriformes which includes members of the families Labridae, Odacidae, and Scaridae. Native to the waters of the Indo-Pacific region, they are also quite popular in the marine aquarium industry. The species description was formally given in 1957 by J. L. B. Smith, a South African ichthyologist. This widespread member of the wrasse family occurs mainly in rubble areas, with low reefs and corals, prone to strong currents, around 32-49 ft (10-15 m) below sea level.

Females are protogynous hermaphrodites or sequential hermaphrodites, meaning they can convert into males at any point in their life. Generally, a school of wrasses will include one or two males. In the absence of males, a female transitions. As they are sexually dimorphic, females develop a wide range of colors and long, pointed fins while transitioning. This is an amusing factor for researchers and scientists.

While sleeping, they use their tooth-like appendage to burrow into the sand to protect themselves from predators. They reproduce year-round and depend mainly on mollusks, shrimp, copepods, amphipods, and zooplankton for food. Humans do not consume wrasses as they have an unpleasant taste.

If you are fascinated by these fascinating animals, you may want to read the following amazing facts. If you want to learn more about different animals, you can read up on tilefish and rainbow cichlid.

Exquisite Wrasse Interesting Facts

What type of animal is an exquisite wrasse?

The exquisite fairy wrasse (Cirrhilabrus exquisitus) is a type of marine ray-finned fish belonging to the family Labridae.

What class of animal does an exquisite wrasse belong to?

The exquisite fairy wrasse belongs to the class Actinopterygii.

How many exquisite wrasses are there in the world?

These vibrant fish are rare but widespread. An exact estimate of their population is not available.

Where does an exquisite wrasse live?

This fairy wrasse occurs in areas with low patches of reefs and lagoon habitats in the Indo-Pacific region. Their population is spread throughout the eastern coast of Africa to the Tuamotu Islands, the Indian Ocean, the Ryukyu Islands, and the northern Great Barrier Reef of Australia. As pets, they are raised in marine aquariums with a minimum tank size of 30 gal (136 L) or larger, with corals or rocks and plants.

What is an exquisite wrasse's habitat?

They prefer habitats around 32-49 ft (10-15 m) below sea level with low patches of reefs where there is a strong current or where they are prone to strong currents.

Who do exquisite wrasses live with?

These fairy wrasse species are not solitary. They occur in schools of varying numbers.

How long does an exquisite wrasse live?

The lifespan of an exquisite fairy wrasse is approximately five years.

How do they reproduce?

Courtship includes the male following the female wrasse around, displaying and showing off its brilliant and colorful patterns. It then releases sperm into the water. The female filters the sperm released into the water through its gills. After the eggs are laid, they are not watched over. The eggs hatch into larvae. They are colorless with just a spot on their snout.

What is their conservation status?

According to the IUCN, International Union for Conservation of Nature, these fish are listed as Data Deficient. This is because there is insufficient information regarding this wrasse species for a proper assessment. However, they still are under the threat of pollution from the dumping of toxic waste into oceans.

Exquisite Wrasse Fun Facts

What do exquisite wrasses look like?

The exquisite wrasse exhibits a wide range of colors. They generally have a predominantly olive-green or red body with a white ventral part and red eyes. Adult males have a pale blue or pink underside of the body with an oval-shaped black spot just before their tail fin. They have blue-hued line markings.

The fins are red in juveniles, and females are predominantly red-colored with a white spot at the tip of their snout. They have blue margins around the dark spot on the caudal peduncle. Color variation occurs depending on geographical variations. The complex patterns and markings also change as they mature. They are sexually dimorphic, and females are protogynous hermaphrodites. During the transition into males, they grow larger with longer and more pointed fins, and their patterns become more vibrant.

Underwater view of an Exquisite wrasse.

How cute are they?

This highly charismatic and vibrant species can be considered extremely cute and handsome.

How do they communicate?

Male wrasses make use of their vivid markings during courtship. The display is both for courting the female as well as warning other male fish to stay away from the female they are courting. Communication and perception are mainly through tactile and chemical channels.

How big is an exquisite wrasse?

Exquisite fairy wrasse is a small fish. They can grow up to 5 in (12.7 cm). Males are longer than the female fish. They are about double the size of a yellow-tip damselfish.

How fast can an exquisite wrasse swim?

They are fast swimmers, especially male fish. However, an estimate of how fast they can swim is not available.

How much does an exquisite wrasse weigh?

An average exquisite fairy wrasse weighs about 4.4 lb (2 kg).

What are the male and female names of the species?

There are no distinct names for males and females.

What would you call a baby exquisite wrasse?

The eggs hatch into larvae, but there are no specific names for a baby wrasse. Since they are a type of fish, they can be called fry or fingerlings, as all baby fish are generally referred to.

What do they eat?

These fish have a carnivorous diet. They have a tooth-like appendage in their mouth. It is sharp and is used to eat the prey. In the wild, they primarily feed on mollusks by breaking the shell open with the tooth and eating the food inside.

Their diet also includes copepods, amphipods, zooplankton, and rotifers. While keeping them in the aquarium, their diet must include high-quality vitamin-enriched foods like frozen mysis shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, marine flake, marine pellet food, and other meaty foods.

Are they aggressive?

This marine fish is rarely aggressive. Other wrasse species are generally aggressive, for example, the six-line wrasse. As compared to its related species, these species are relatively peaceful fish. However, there can be territorial aggression between males of this species.

Would they make a good pet?

They are popular and one of the most sought-after fish in the marine aquarium trade. With their peaceful nature, low cost, easy maintenance, and small size, they would make great pets if taken care of well. They are relatively cheap and easily available. The minimum tank size varies from 30 to 60 gal (136-273 L) or more. They also require high-quality, vitamin-enriched meaty foods. Once good quality foods and a spacious tank are assured, rearing them is easy.

Did you know...

Like most members of the Cirrhilabrus genus, these fish also spend their time actively swimming around in their tank hunting. A lid is a necessary precaution to keep them from jumping out of the tank. They also spend time sleeping, wrapped in a mucous cocoon.

Wrasses are very social and require a little too much space. If you wish to keep more than one wrasse in a tank, you should plan well. Do not keep two male fish together as they might end up killing each other as fights are unavoidable. It is better to keep one male and one female fish.

The exquisite fairy wrasse can be easily distinguished from other wrasse species of Cirrhilabrus. Both the Indian and the Pacific Ocean varieties have double-emarginated tails. This can also be found in the deepwater wrasse and Marjorie's wrasse. Both these fish show differences in the size of fins and body coloration. Cirrhilabrus exquisitus males possess the unique caudal peduncular spot that distinguishes them from the other species. They also have a lateral stripe similar to Scott's wrasse and lunate fairy wrasse.

How do exquisite wrasses interact with other fish?

These peaceful fish are generally not aggressive toward other fish in the aquarium. In tanks over 150 gal (682 L) in size, they are known to get along well with similar-looking males of the same genus. Still, it is more advisable to rear only a single specimen in one tank.

Are exquisite wrasses reef safe?

Yes, these marine fish are extremely reef-safe. They do not bother corals or invertebrates, therefore, they are perfect for a reef aquarium. In the ocean, they can be found on low patches of reef or reef edges.

Here at Kidadl, we have carefully created lots of interesting family-friendly animal facts for everyone to discover! Learn more about some other fish, including white cloud mountain minnow, or peacock cichlid.

You can even occupy yourself at home by coloring in one of our free printable betta fish coloring pages.

Exquisite Wrasse Facts

What Did They Prey On?

Mollusks, brine shrimp, copepods, and amphipods

What Type of Animal were they?


Average Litter Size?


How Much Did They Weigh?

4.4 lb (2 kg)

What habitat Do they Live In?

reef slopes and lagoon habitats

Where Do They Live?

indo-pacific region

How Long Were They?

1.2-5 in (3.1-12.7 cm)

How Tall Were They?








Scientific Name

Cirrhilabrus exquisitus

What Do They Look Like?

Blue, green, and red

Skin Type


What Are Their Main Threats?


What is their Conservation Status?

Data Deficient
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Written by Moumita Dutta

Bachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

Moumita Dutta picture

Moumita DuttaBachelor of Arts specializing in Journalism and Mass Communication, Postgraduate Diploma in Sports Management

A content writer and editor with a passion for sports, Moumita has honed her skills in producing compelling match reports and stories about sporting heroes. She holds a degree in Journalism and Mass Communication from the Indian Institute of Social Welfare and Business Management, Calcutta University, alongside a postgraduate diploma in Sports Management.

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