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Tropical Diver presented by Southwest

Bird wrasse

Bird wrasse

(Gomphosus varius)

The bird wrasse is found in the Indo-Pacific from the eastern Indian Ocean to Japan and Hawaii and south to northwest Australia. It has also been reported from Easter Island. This uniquely-shaped fish inhabits shallow, coral-rich areas of lagoons and seaward reefs. The adult can easily be identified by its long snout as it probes among the coral seeking benthic invertebrates and small fish upon which it feeds.

The male bird wrasse can reach almost one foot in length and is blue-green in color. The female is smaller and somewhat less colorful, sometimes having orange on the head and snout. Like many reef fishes, this species can change gender from female to male.

When visiting the Tropical Diver gallery, see if you can find the bird wrasse moving among the coral in the large reef exhibit.

Fun Facts

  • This species can been found swimming alone or in small groups.
  • Its common name is derived from its long snout.
  • The juvenile bird wrasse lacks the long snout found in the adult.
  • The underside of the juvenile is white rather than green as in the adult.
  • The bird wrasse swims rapidly about using only its pectoral (side) fins.
  • Download full fact sheet

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