Bluethroat Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys cyanolaemus Russell 1985

Other Names: Blue-throat Rainbow-wrasse, Blue-throated Rainbow Wrasse, Blue-throated Wrasse

A male Bluethroat Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys cyanolaemus. Source: Rick Stuart-Smith / Reef life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A small rainbow wrasse with oblique brown patches along the back, three pale oblique blue lines from the lower part of the head through the eye, and 8-9 rows of blue spots along the sides. Males (terminal phase) have three slightly oblique blue bands from the eye across the gill cover. Females (initial phase) and juveniles have a black spot on the upper part of the caudal peduncle about equal in size to pupil diameter, and an ocellus on the rear of the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Suezichthys cyanolaemus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Nov 2022,

Bluethroat Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys cyanolaemus Russell 1985

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Endemic to Western Australia, from Albany to Ningaloo Reef, North West Cape.
Inhabits inhabits rubble and seagrass areas adjacent to reefs in sheltered inshore and deeper offshore waters - mostly above 40 m, although the species has been trawled in a depth of 200 m.


Dorsal fin IX, 11; Anal fin III, 10; Vertebrae 25. 
Body scales large; predorsal scales 4-6 (rarely 4); two cheek scale rows behind eye 2, rows below eye 3; scale rows above lateral line 2½, low scaly sheath at base of dorsal and anal fins; lateral-line scales with a simple, unbranched laterosensory canal tube. 

Similar Species

The Painted Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys arquatus, has a black ocellus at the front of the dorsal fin. 

Species Citation

Suezichthys cyanolaemus Russell 1985, Indo-Pacific Fishes 2:  13, pl. 2(C, D), figs 2, 7a. Type locality: Fish Hook Bay (32°02'S, 115°27'E), Rottnest Island, Western Australia, 6 m. 


Bray, D.J. 2020


Atlas of Living Australia

Bluethroat Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys cyanolaemus Russell 1985


Edgar, G.J. 2008. Australian Marine Life: the plants and animals of temperate waters. Sydney : Reed New Holland 2nd edn, 624 pp. 

Hoschke, A., Whisson, G. & Moore, G.I. 2019. Complete list of fishes from Rottnest Island. pp. 150-161 in Whisson, G. & A. Hoschke (eds) The Rottnest Island fish book. 2nd Ed. Perth : Aqua Research and Monitoring Services.

Hutchins, J.B. 1990. Fish survey of South Passage, Shark Bay, Western Australia. pp. 263-278 in Berry, P.F., Bradshaw, S.D. & Wilson, B.R. (eds). Research in Shark Bay: Report of the France-Australe Bicentenary Expedition Committee. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Hutchins, J.B. 1994. A survey of the nearshore reef fish fauna of Western Australia's west and south coasts — The Leeuwin Province. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 46: 1-66 figs 1-6 

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

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 

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. 

Hutchins, J.B. & Thompson, M. 1983. The Marine and Estuarine Fishes of South-western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 103 pp. 345 figs. 

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses and their Relatives. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 207 pp. 

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398. 

Russell, B.C. 1985. Revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fish genus Suezichthys, with descriptions of four new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 2: 1-21 figs 1-7 pls 1-3 

Russell, B. 2010. Suezichthys cyanolaemus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187459A8541062. Downloaded on 07 July 2019.

Russell, B.C. & Westneat, M.W. 2013. A new species of Suezichthys (Teleostei: Perciformes: Labridae) from the southeastern Pacific, with a redefinition of the genus and a key to species. Zootaxa 3640(1): 88-94

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384161


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-200m (usually to 40m)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:10 cm SL


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