Mental Wrasse (Oxycheilinus mentalis)

Also known as Maori Wrasse, Thicklip Wrasse


Also known as Maori Wrasse, Thicklip Wrasse.

Found singly close to coral heads over fringing reefs.
They feed on small fish and benthic invertebrates.
They can change colour to match non predatory parrotfish and surgeonfish.
Sometimes curious towards divers.
Length - 20cm
Depth - 1-20m
Western Indian Ocean - Gulf of Aden, Red Sea

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. Ref:


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