Yellowbreast Wrasse, Anampses twistii Bleeker 1856

Other Names: Twister Wrasse, Yellowbreasted Wrasse, Yellow-breasted Wrasse

A Yellowbreast Wrasse, Anampses twistii, in the Raja Ampat islands, West Papua, Indonesia, January 2016. Source: Mark Rosenstein / iNaturalist. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

Identifying features: Brownish above graduating to yellow on chest, abdomen and lower head; rear of body reddish to pinkish; body, dorsal and anal fins covered in rows of blue ocelli; operculum with a large dark black, green and red blotch, lips reddish; soft dorsal and anal fins with a large dark ocellus.
Small juveniles swim head-down with their dorsal and anal fins erect - possibly to protect themselves from predators by resembling the head of a larger fish.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Anampses twistii in Fishes of Australia, accessed 26 Sep 2023,

Yellowbreast Wrasse, Anampses twistii Bleeker 1856

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Recorded in Australia from Rowley Shoals to Ashmore Reef, Western Australia, and Cape York to Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere, widespread in the tropical Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to Polynesia.

Inhabits clear lagoon and seaward reefs, usually solitary in areas with a mix of rubble, coral and sand in depths of 5-30 metres.


Form distinct breeding pairs.


Traded in the aquarium industry.

Species Citation

Anampses twistii, Bleeker, 1856, Acta Societatis Regiae Scientiarum Indo-Ne√™rlandicae 1: 56. Type locality: Ambon Island, Molucca Islands, Indonesia.


Dianne J. Bray

Yellowbreast Wrasse, Anampses twistii Bleeker 1856


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

Allen, G.R. & M.V. Erdmann. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Tropical Reef Research, Perth, Australia : Volumes I-III.

Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island Natural History Association, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, 6798, Australia. 197 p.

Bleeker, P. 1856. Beschrijvingen van nieuwe en weinig bekende vischsoorten van Amboina, verzameld op eene reis door den Molukschen Archipel, gedaan in het gevolg van den Gouverneur-Generaal Duymaer van Twist in September en October 1855. Acta Societatis Scientiarum Indo-Neerlandicae 1: 1-76.

Hanel, R., M.W. Westneat & C. Sturmbauer. 2002. Phylogenetic relationships, evolution of broodcare behavior, and geographic speciation in the wrasse Tribe Labrini. J. Molec. Evol. 55: 776-789.

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. & T. Tonozuka. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Zoonetics, Australia. 304-622 p.

Randall, J.E. 1972. A revision of the labrid fish genus Anampses. Micronesica 8(1-2): 151-190.

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.

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384051

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-30 m

Habitat:Coral reefs

Max Size:18 cm TL

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