Tag: Red-Breasted Maori Wrasse (Cheilinus fasciatus)

One of the larger species of Wrasse in local waters, the Red-Breasted Maori Wrasse (Cheilinus fasciatus) is particularly common in areas with shallow, sandy bottom (usually on the sea-ward side of coral reefs).

Adults can also be found at the deeper offshore sites such as Sail Rock, but here they are found in fewer numbers and tend to be more timid (unlike the bold, inquisitive nature they often display at shallower sites).

They reach a maximum length of approximately 40cm and are easily distinguished by their greenish/blue head, distinctive red/orange band to which it's name refers, followed by black and white stripes along the length of it's body. The red/orange band becomes generally more distinctive as the individual matures.

One of the larger species of Wrasse in local waters, the Red-Breasted Maori Wrasse (Cheilinus fasciatus) is particularly common in areas with shallow, sandy bottom (usually on the sea-ward side of coral reefs).

Adults can also be found at the deeper offshore sites such as Sail Rock, but here they are found in fewer numbers and tend to be more timid (unlike the bold, inquisitive nature they often display at shallower sites).

They reach a maximum length of approximately 40cm and are easily distinguished by their greenish/blue head, distinctive red/orange band to which it's name refers, followed by black and white stripes along the length of it's body. The red/orange band becomes generally more distinctive as the individual matures.

Alan's picture
Red-Breasted Maori Wrasse juvenile (Cheilinus Fasciatus)

This grainy photo shows a tiny Red-Breasted Maori Wrasse (Cheilinus Fasciatus) at perhaps the youngest phase at which it is recognizable as this species.

Alan's picture
Redbreasted Maori Wrasse juvenile (Cheilinus Fasciatus)

This photo of a juvenile Redbreasted Maori Wrasse (Cheilinus Fasciatus) clearly shows the distinct lack of the red colouration present in more mature specimens.
The red colour becomes more prominent as the individual ages.

Alan's picture
Redbreasted Maori Wrasse (Cheilinus Fasciatus)

An adult Redbreasted Maori Wrasse (Cheilinus Fasciatus) showing the distinctive "red breast" markings from which the name derives, followed by the equally distinctive black and white stripes.

The red colouration becomes more distinctive with age and is less apparent in juveniles..