Birdnose Wrasse, Gomphosus varius Lacépède 1801


Other Names: Bird Wrasse, Bird-nose Wrasse, Clubnosed Wrasse

A male Bird Wrasse, Gomphosus varius, at Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Andy Lewis / Lizard Island Field Guide. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:
An easily recognized wrasse with an extremely long, slender beak-like snout. Colours differ depending on sexual development. Males are green to bluish green with a bluish head, and a bright yellow bar behind the head. Females are whitish with black speckles on the front half, and greyish to blackish behind, with a reddish to black stripe along the snout and through the eye. Juveniles are white with a greenish to brownish back and two black stripes along the side, and they have relatively short jaws.

Video of male and female Birdnose Wrasses

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Gomphosus varius in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Aug 2019, http://fishesofaustralia.net.au/home/species/2288

Birdnose Wrasse, Gomphosus varius Lacépède 1801

More Info


Distribution

Recorded in Australia from Rottnest Island to Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea on the West Coast, and from the Great Barrier Reef north of Cape York, Queensland, to at least the Solitary Islands, with juveniles as far south as Bermagui, New South Wales. Also on reefs in the Coral Sea, and at Lord Howe and Norfolk islands in the Tasman Sea.
Elsewhere, widespread in the East-Indo-West-Pacific, and common throughout most of its range. 

Solitary or in small groups on coral and rocky reefs, preferring coral rich areas in lagoons and seaward reefs at depths to 35 m. Juvenniles sometimes occur in seagrass beds. 

Feeding

Carnivore - uses its long jaws to pick small benthic crustaceans such as crabs and shrimps from coral and rocky crevices. Also feeds on brittle stars, molluscs and small fishes.

Fisheries

Collected for trade in the aquarium industry.

Remarks

Bernardi et al. (2004) determined that species currently in the genus Gomphosus are members of the genus Thalassoma.

Species Citation

Gomphosus varius Lacépède, 1801, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 3: 100, pl. 5(2). Type locality: Tahiti.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2018

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Birdnose Wrasse, Gomphosus varius Lacépède 1801

References


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R. 2000. Marine fishes of south-east Asia – A field guide for anglers and divers. Periplus Editions (HK) Ltd.

Allen, G.R., N.J. Cross, C.J. Allen & M.F. Gomon 2006. Labridae: Labrinae. pp. 1368-1418 in Beesley, P.L. & Wells, A. (eds). Zoological Catalogue of Australia. Volume 35 Australia : ABRS & CSIRO Publishing Parts 1-3, 2178 pp.

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

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

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Bellwood, D.R. & Wainwright, P.C. 2001. Locomotion in labrid fishes: implications for habitat use and cross-shelf biogeography on the Great Barrier Reef. Coral Reefs 20: 139-150.

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp.

Colin, P.L.& Bell, L.J. 1991. Aspects of the spawning of labrid and scarid fishes (Pisces: Labroidei) at Enewetak Atoll, Marshall Islands with notes on other families. Environmental Biology of Fishes 31(3): 229-260.

Francis, M. 1993. Checklist of the coastal fishes of Lord Howe, Norfolk, and Kermadec Islands, southwest Pacific Ocean. Pacific Science 47(2): 136-170 figs 1-2

Fulton, C.J. & Bellwood, D.R. 2002. Patterns of foraging in labrid fishes. Marine Ecology Progress Series 226: 135-142.

Fulton, C.J., Bellwood, D.R. & Wainwright, P.C. 2001. The relationship between swimming ability and habitat use in wrasses (Labridae). Marine Biology 139(1): 25-33

Bernardi, G., Bucciarelli, G., Costagliola, D., Robertson, D.R. & Heiser, J. 2004. Evolution of coral reef fish Thalassomaspp. (Labridae). 1. Molecular phylogeny and biogeography. Marine Biology 144: 369-375. 10.1007/s00227-003-1199-0.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270.

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp.

Lacépède, B.G. 1801. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 3 558 pp. 34 pls.

Lecchini, D. & Galzin, R. 2005. Spatial repartition and ontogenetic shifts in habitat use by coral reef fishes (Moorea, French Polynesia). Marine Biology 147: 47-58.

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Osborne, K. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Elizabeth and Middleton Reefs Marine National Nature Reserve, December 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Sciences 64 pp.

Randall, J.E. & Allen, G.R. 2004. Gomphosus varius x Thalassoma lunare, a hybrid labrid fish from Australia. Aqua, J. Ichthyol. Aquat. Biol. 8(3): 135-139.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1990. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 507 pp. figs.

Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & Steene, R. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 557 pp. figs.

Sadovy, Y. & Vincent, A. 2002. Ecological issues and the Trades in Live Reef Fishes, pp. 391-420. In P.F. Sale (ed.) Coral Reef Fishes: Dynamics and diversity in a complex ecosystem.  Academic Press, San Diego, USA.

Shea, S., Liu, M. & Rocha, L.A. 2010. Gomphosus varius. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 15 March 2014.

Westneat, M.W. 2001. Labridae. pp. 3381-3467 in Carpenter, K.E. & Niem, T.H. (eds). The Living Marine Resources of the Western Central Pacific. FAO Species Identification Guide for Fisheries Purposes. Rome : FAO Vol. 6 pp. 3381-4218.

Whitehead, M., Gilmore, J., Eager, E., McGinnity, P., Craik, W.& Macleod, P. 1986. Aquarium fishes and their collection in the Great Barrier Reef Region. Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority.

Quick Facts


CAAB Code:37384106

Biology:Hermaphrodite

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-35 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:32 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map