Dwarf Slingjaw Wrasse, Epibulus brevis Carlson, Randall & Dawson 2008

Other Names: Latent Slingjaw Wrasse

A Dwarf Slingjaw Wrasse, Epibulus brevis, at Bali, Indonesia, 2010. Source: Jim Greenfield / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

Males are brown with yellow on the throat area, yellowish caudal-fin lobes, and a yellow marking at the opercular flap. Females vary in colour from dark to pale brown, or yellow or almost white, with black markings on the pectoral fins. The Dwarf Slingjaw Wrasse attains a smaller size than the similar Slingjaw Wrasse, has relatively longer pectoral fins, and lacks the black stripe through the eye.
Juveniles are brown to greenish-brown with white lines on the head and body and a black spot on both the dorsal and anal fins. They resemble possum wrasses of the genus Wetmorella in both appearance and behaviour. Like possum wrasses, juvenile slingjaw wrasses are very secretive, and usually shelter in crevices or among branching corals.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Epibulus brevis in Fishes of Australia, accessed 16 Jan 2018, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/Home/species/5314

Dwarf Slingjaw Wrasse, Epibulus brevis Carlson, Randall & Dawson 2008

More Info


Hibernia Reef, in the Timor Sea off north-west Western Australia. Elsewhere the species is known from Central Indonesia, east to Palau and Papua New Guinea.
Usually inhabits protected inshore coral reefs and coral lagoon areas, and also occurs in adjacent seagrass areas. 


Carnivore - feeds mostly on crabs and shrimps, along with fishes and other crustaceans.


The species is collected for the aquarium trade, especially the highly desired yellow females.

Similar Species

Epibulus brevis is very similar to the common and wide-ranging Slingjaw Wrasse, E. insidiator, differing in the relatively drab coloration of the male, the presence of prominent black pigment on the pectoral fins of most females, smaller size, and slightly longer pectoral fins. It lives in more protected inshore waters than E. insidiator.

Species Citation

Epibulus brevis Carlson, Randall & Dawson,  Copeia 2008(2):477, Figs. 1-2 , Ngerikuul (Nikko Bay), off south shore of Bukrrairong Island, Koror, Palau


Bray, D.J. 2017

Dwarf Slingjaw Wrasse, Epibulus brevis Carlson, Randall & Dawson 2008


Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Carlson, B.A., Randall, J.E. & Dawson, M.N. 2008. A new species of Epibulus (Perciformes: Labridae) from the west Pacific. Copeia 2008( 2): 476-483.

Michael, S.W. 2004. The Slingjaw Wrasse (Epibulus insidiator) - The fastest jaw in the west (Pacific)! Available at: http://www.advancedaquarist.com/issues/july2004/fish.htm.

Russell, B. & Myers, R. 2010. Epibulus brevis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187622A8583295. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T187622A8583295.en. Downloaded on 07 March 2017.

Quick Facts

Biology:Able to change sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-15 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:18.5 cm SL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map