Stellate Pencil Wrasse, Pseudojuloides crux Tea, Gill & Senou 2020

Holotype of Pseudojuloides crux, WAM P.25368-001, a male from a reef off Tantabiddy Creek, North-West Cape, Western Australia, . Source: Gerald R. Allen / Western Australian Museum. License: All rights reserved

Males are greenish yellow to yellowish-orange with the upper side overlain in black and 3-5 rows of metallic blue spots. Females are overall olivaceus.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Pseudojuloides crux in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jun 2021,

Stellate Pencil Wrasse, Pseudojuloides crux Tea, Gill & Senou 2020

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Houtman Abrolhos islands, north to the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. Inhabits rubble areas with prominent kelp and other macroalgae growth at depths to 25 m.


Dorsal fin IX,12; Anal fin III,12-13; Pectoral fin 11-13; Principal caudal fin rays 7+7; Upper procurrent caudal-fin rays 5-6; lower procurrent caudal-fin rays 5-6; total caudal-fin rays 24-25; Lateral line 26-27 tubed scales + an additional large tubed scale on caudal fin; Scales above lateral line to origin of dorsal fin 4; Scales above anal-fin origin to lateral line 8-10; gill rakers 15-18; Vertebrae 9+16.
Body depth 4.3–5.2 in SL.


A protogynous hermaphrodite, with females capable of changing sex to become male during their life cycle. Usually seen in groups with a dominant male and several females.


The specific name crux refers to the most famous constellation in the southern celestial hemisphere, the Crux Constellation or Southern Cross, in reference to the southern distribution of this species, and the dark upper body with numerous spots in males, which is reminiscent of a starry night.

Species Citation

Pseudojuloides crux Tea, Gill & Senou 2020, Copeia 108(3): 557, Figs 2B, 6, 7. Type locality: lagoon reef off Tantabiddy Creek, North West Cape, Western Australia.


Bray, D.J. 2020

Stellate Pencil Wrasse, Pseudojuloides crux Tea, Gill & Senou 2020


Allen, G.R. 1985. Fishes of Western Australia. Book 9. 2207-2534 526 pls in Burgess, W.E. & Axelrod, H.R. (eds) Pacific Marine Fishes. Neptune, New Jersey : T.F.H. Publications.

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.

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. 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. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum.

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics, 398 pp. (as Pseudojuloides sp 3)

Quick Facts


Depth:3-25 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:11 cm SL

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