PISCES : PERCIFORMES : LabridaeBONY FISH

Labrus mixtus (Linnaeus, 1758)

Cuckoo Wrasse


Labrus mixtus

Description: Members of the wrasse family have scaly bodies, long dorsal fins and robust, flattened teeth. The cuckoo wrasse is one of the most colourful fish that occurs in the seas around Britain and Ireland. It has a slender body and head and reaches a maximum length of 35cm. The female is rose-red to orange-red in colour with three or four black blotches interspersed by white blotches on the back, behind the dorsal fin. The male has brilliant iridescent blue on its head and blue lines and blotches along the body. Like many other wrasse species, the older females can change sex to become males with the characteristic iridescent blue coloration.

Habitat: Cuckoo wrasse are mainly found in rocky areas at depths below 10m. They feed on small crustaceans, worms and molluscs.

Distribution: This species is widespread all around Britain and Ireland.

Similar Species: The distinctive colour of this species readily distinguishes it from other wrasse species.

Key Identification Features:

Distribution Map from BioMar data for Ireland - Google Earth map:  download this placemark (not got Google Earth installed?)

Distribution Map from NBN: Grid map (fast) : Interactive map (slow, requires login to view records) : National Biodiversity Network mapping facility, data for UK.



 Picton, B.E. & Morrow, C.C., 2010. [In] Encyclopedia of Marine Life of Britain and Ireland
http://www.habitas.org.uk/marinelife/species.asp?item=ZG6100

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