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Related FAQs: Halichoeres Wrasses, Halichoeres 2, Halichoeres Identification, Halichoeres Behavior, Halichoeres Compatibility, Halichoeres Selection, Halichoeres Systems, Halichoeres Feeding, Halichoeres Disease, Halichoeres Reproduction, Wrasses, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,          

Related Articles: Halichoeres N-Z, The Diversity of Wrasses, Family Labridae, Cook Islands Wrasses

/The Best Livestock for A Marine Aquarium

Genus Halichoeres A-M

To: Halichoeres N-Z

By Bob Fenner

  Halichoeres ornatissimus

Seems like all large families have one, super-size catch-all genus. For the Butterflyfishes, it's Chaetodon, and for the wrasses, it's the genus Halichoeres. Burgess et al. (1990) list forty-seven species and there are more (sixty two currently). Confusing the matter is the typical morass of double and treble invalid classification of the same species as more than such on the basis of sexual and developmental differences (which can be quite striking with some). Many of the members of this genus are good looking, peaceful, and stay relatively small. Germinal to their keeping is selecting initially healthy specimens, providing a sand bed for digging and diving, and assuring their getting their share of the food.

Halichoeres argus (Bloch & Schneider 1801), the Argus Wrasse. Indo-west Pacific. To almost five inches in length. This juvenile in Fiji.

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Halichoeres binotopsis Bleeker 1849, West Pacific; Singapore to PNG, Indonesia. To nine cm. Here in N. Sulawesi.

http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=12789&genusname=Halichoeres&speciesname=binotopsis

Halichoeres biocellatus Schultz 1960, the Red Lined Wrasse. Western Pacific; Philippines, S. Japan to GBR. To 12 cm. This one in S. Sulawesi. Below: A juvenile and initial phase individuals in Fiji http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=5627&genusname=Halichoeres&speciesname=biocellatus

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Halichoeres bivittatus (Bloch 1791), the Slippery Dick Wrasse (2), is a standard item offered out of the tropical western Atlantic and an anomaly to me. This fish is neither really very attractive or relatively hardy in captivity. To almost nine inches in length. Bahamas, Cozumel, St. Thomas pix of juvenile and initial phase individuals below. Terminal/male phase at right in Bonaire.

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Halichoeres chierchiae Di Caporiacco 1948, the Wounded Wrasse (2) is a newer introduction to the hobby from the tropical eastern Pacific that is gaining popularity. To eight inches over-all length. Here's a near full-size male in captivity and a three inch juv. off Mexico's Cabo San Lucas. Initial phase/female below in Costa Rica.

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Halichoeres chloropterus (Bloch 1791), the Pastel Green Wrasse. Indo-Australia; Philippines to the GBR. To nearly eight inches in length. One off of Pulau Redang, Malaysia, another in a reef tank in Toronto. Initial phase individual below, from Raja Ampat, Indo.

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Halichoeres chrysus Randall 1981 (1), is a fish of two "good" and one bad common name. It should be called the Golden or Canary Wrasse for its bright bold sun-yellow color, but is most often listed as the Yellow Coris Wrasse (Arggghhh!, it is not a Coris genus member of course). This is an exemplary aquarium species that is suitable for peaceful fish-only and reef systems. To a mere 4 inches or so total length. Aquarium juv. (and adult below) & S. Sulawesi photos. Eastern Indian Ocean distribution. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=4855&genusname=Halichoeres&speciesname=chrysus

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Halichoeres cosmetus Randall & Smith 1982, the Adorned Wrasse.   
Halichoeres cyanocephalus (Bloch 1791), the Yellowcheek Wrasse. West Atlantic. To six inches in length. This terminal phase individual off of Cozumel. And a nice supermale sent in by JonP... below

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Halichoeres dispilus (Gunther 1864), the Chameleon Wrasse. Tropical Eastern Pacific; Sea of Cortez to Peru, including the Galapagos. Solitary to small (three to five) numbers in a "traveling, feeding" group. Pick organisms out of the substrate. To ten inches in length. At right a male and female from Cabo San Lucas area, Mexico's Baja. Below, initial phase, early male and terminal male in the Galapagos.

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Halichoeres garnoti (Valenciennes 1839), the Yellowhead Wrasse (1) is another new choice out of the tropical western Atlantic. To about seven inches long. More and more available in the trade, and a beauty. At right a terminal phase individual in Cozumel. Below are images of  juvenile, initial and terminal phase/male individuals. Second in Cozumel, all others Bahamas.
 
Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available
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Halichoeres hartzfeldii (Bleeker 1852), Hartzfeld's Wrasse. Western Pacific; Indonesia to S. Japan. To 18 cm.  Usually found over sand, mud or rubble in haremic groups of one male, a few females. N. Sulawesi pix.

Halichoeres hortulanus (Lacepede 1801), the Checkerboard Wrasse (2), comes in two varieties, the more common one from the Pacific and a more colorful color morph in the Indian Ocean into the Red Sea. Pictured: At right a tiny juvenile (hovering over a Fungiid) in S. Sulawesi. Below: A juvenile of about two inches length, and a "pair" in the Maldives. A larger Halichoeres at ten or so inches in an aquarium. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=12663&genusname=Halichoeres&speciesname=hortulanus

Halichoeres iridis Randall & Smith 1982, the Iris Wrasse. Western Indian Ocean. To four and a half inches in length. A recent, prized import into the aquarium interest. Captive image.

Halichoeres kallochroma Bleeker 1853. To nine cm. Similar to Thailand (to Indo.?) H. leucurus... this one off of N. Sulawesi.

Halichoeres lecoxanthus Randall & Smith 1982. Western Indian Ocean. South Africa, Mauritius, Maldives... To 9 cm. Photo by PeggyN. http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=25689&genusname=Halichoeres&speciesname=trispilus

  Mmm, does look like an aberrant H. chrysus...

Erratum in Halichoeres wrasse article  9/18/09 Dear Bob, <Alex> I was searching for something on WWM and in the course of my research I have found that there seems to be a small error on your Halichoeres wrasse page (N-Z): The photograph captioned with "Halichoeres trispilus" seems to be a H. leucoxanthus (nomen est omen --> white-yellow) commonly called Whitebelly wrasse (http://fishbase.org/Photos/ThumbnailsSummary.php?ID=7806 or http://fishbase.org/summary/SpeciesSummary.php?id=7806). H. trispilus is more whitish, even though it has the same three dots (nomen est omen, again ;-)... Cheers, Alex <I do agree with you: http://fishbase.org/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=7806&genusname=Halichoeres&speciesname=leucoxanthus Will append. Stipendium peccati mors est. BobF>

Re: Erratum in Halichoeres wrasse article  9/18/09 I hope not... But the question remains what the ones get, that do not sin ;-) Cheers, Alex <A quandary/paradox for sure... For me, I'll take the Viking "heaven" please. Cheers, BobF>

Halichoeres leucurus (Walbaum 1792), the Greyhead Wrasse. Western Pacific; Philippines to New Guinea, Indonesia, Micronesia. To a bit over five inches total length. A female off N. Sulawesi. male off of Gili Air, Lombok, Indonesia.

Halichoeres maculipinna (Muller & Troschel 1848), the Clown Wrasse. West Atlantic; Carolina to Brazil. To 18 cm. Juv. phase in Turks. Initial phase individual off of Cozumel and St. Thomas. Terminal below in Key Largo.
Bigger PIX:
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Halichoeres margaritaceus (Valenciennes 1839), the Pink-belly Wrasse. Indo-Pacific. To five inches in length. Raja Ampat, Indo. and aquarium images.

Halichoeres marginatus Ruppell 1835, the Dusky Wrasse. Indo-Pacific, including the Red Sea, out to Hawai'i and the Tuamotus. To seven inches in length. Aquarium, Australian, Fiji images.
Halichoeres melanochir Fowler & Bean 1928. Western Pacific; Philippines to northwest Australia. To almost seven inches in length. This female off of Pulau Redang, Malaysia.

Halichoeres melanurus (Bleeker 1851), the Tail-spot Wrasse. West central Pacific. To five inches. An occasional import out of Fiji. Initial phase (a small and a large blue emarginated spot on dorsal) in Fiji, terminal off Heron Island, Australia's GBR.

Bigger PIX: The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Halichoeres melasmapomus Randall 1981, the Cheekspot Wrasse. Indo-West Pacific. To ten inches total length. Occasionally shows up in our interest, often sold as a "miscellaneous" wrasse. This juvenile photographed in the Cook Islands.

To: Halichoeres N-Z


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