Also known as Cheilinus quinquecinctus, Maori Wrasses, Thicklip Wrasses, Red-breasted Maori Wrasse, Red-breast Wrasse, Scarlet-breasted Wrasse, Scarlet-breasted Maori Wrasse, Banded Maori Wrasse, Red-Banded Wrasse and Banded Splendour Wrasse.
Found singly in lagoons and inner reefs, along reef edges and rubble zones, often seen resting on the seabed.
These are the largest of wrasses with thick lips, hence the name!
They feed on hard shell invertebrates.
Length - 35cm
Depth - 5-45m
Widespread Indo Pacific
Most reef fish seen by divers during the day are grazers, that cruise around just above the surface of the coral or snoop into crevices looking for algae, worms and small crustaceans.
Wrasses have small protruding teeth and graze the bottom taking in a variety of snails, worms, crabs, shrimps and eggs. Any hard coats or thick shells are then ground down by their pharyngeal jaws and the delicacies inside digested.
From juvenile to adult wrasses dramatically alter their colour and body shapes.
Wrasses are always on the go during the day, but are the first to go to bed and the last to rise.
Small wrasses dive below the sand to sleep and larger wrasses wedge themselves in crevasses.