Gunther's Wrasse, Pseudolabrus guentheri Bleeker 1862

Other Names: Chocolate Parrotfish, Günther's Rainbowfish, Günther's Rainbow-fish, Günther's Wrasse

Gunther's Wrasse, Pseudolabrus guentheri, in Jervis Bay, New South Wales, April 2016. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike


Variable in colour ranging from green to reddish-brown, with broad orange lines on the head. Adults are more greenish, with black markings on the rear of the back, indistinct broad oblique bands and fine oblique white stripes on the lower sides.

Unlike other wrasses, this species varies little in colour from juvenile to female and male.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2014, Pseudolabrus guentheri in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Jul 2024,

Gunther's Wrasse, Pseudolabrus guentheri Bleeker 1862

More Info


Endemic to subtropical waters of eastern Australia, from the Whitsunday Islands, Queensland, to Merimbula, New South Wales, and the Swain Reefs, Queensland. The species is rare in the southern parts of its range.

Gunther's Wrasse inhabits moderately exposed coral and rocky reefs along the coast in depths of 0-20 m; also found weedy areas and amongst sponges and soft corals in estuaries and bays.


Carnivore - feeds on benthic invertebrates such as small crustaceans.


In southern Queensland, Gunther's Wrasse spawns from August to December.


  • IUCN Red List : Least Concern
  • Similar Species

    Differs from juvenile Pseudolabrus luculentus (Luculent Wrasse) in having black markings on the upper rear of the body.


    The species is named guentheri after Albert Günther, Ichthyologist at the British Museum (Natural History), London, when Bleeker described this species.

    Species Citation

    Pseudolabrus guentheri Bleeker, 1862, Verslag. Meded. Konink. Akad. Wetensc 14: 131. Type locality: Australia.


    Bray, D.J. 2014


    Australian Faunal Directory

    Gunther's Wrasse, Pseudolabrus guentheri Bleeker 1862


    Bleeker, P. 1862. Notices ichthyologiques. 5. Sur une nouvelle espèce de pseudolabre (Güntheri) de la Nouvelle Hollande. Verslagen en Mededeelingen der Koninklijke Akademie van Wetenschappen (Afdeeling Natuurjunde). Amsterdam 14: 130-133.

    Choat, J.H. 1969. Studies on the biology of labroid fishes (Labridae and Scaridae) at Heron Island, Great Barrier Reef. University of Queensland.

    De Vis, C.W. 1883. Descriptions of new genera and species of Australian fishes. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 8(2): 283-289 (p. 287, as Labrichthys dux).

    De Vis, C.W. 1885. New fishes in the Queensland Museum. No. 5. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(4): 869-887 (p. 879, as Labrichthys cruentatus; p. 880, as Labrichthys sexlineatus and Labrichthys rex; p. 881, as Labrichthys maculatus

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

    Grant, E.M. 1991. Fishes of Australia. Brisbane : EM Grant Pty Ltd 480 pp.

    Johnson, J.W. 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762

    Kuiter, R.H. 1993. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Bathurst : Crawford House Press 437 pp.

    Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to sea fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Frenchs Forest, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers I-xvii, 434 pp.

    Macleay, W.J. 1881. Descriptive catalogue of the fishes of Australia. Part 3. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 6(1): 1-138 pls 1-2 (p. 87, as Labrichthys dorsalis; p. 89 as Labrichthys melanura)

    Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

    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.

    Russell, B.C. 1988. Revision of the labrid fish genus Pseudolabrus and allied genera. Records of the Australian Museum, Supplement 9: 1-72. PDF Open access

    Russell, B.C., Anderson, G.R.V. & Talbot, F.H. 1977. Seasonality and recruitment of coral reef fishes. Australian Journal of Marine and Freshwater Research 28: 521-528.

    Russell, B. & Pollard, D. 2010. Pseudolabrus guentheri. In: IUCN 2012. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2012.2. <>. Downloaded on 6 November 2012.

    Steindachner, F. 1866. Ichthyologische Mittheilungen. (VIII.). Verhandlungen der Kaiserlich-Königlichen Zoologisch-Botanischen Gesellschaft in Wien 16: 475-484 ( p. 476, as Labrichthys australis)

    Steindachner, F. 1867. Ichthyologische Notizen (6) 2. Zur Fischfauna von Port Jackson. Sitzungsberichte der Akademie der Wissenschaften in Wien 56(1): 320-335 fig. 1 (p. 330, as Pseudolabrus richardsonii)

    Thomson, J.M. 1978. A Field Guide to the Common Sea & Estuary Fishes of Non-tropical Australia. Sydney : Collins 144 pp.

    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:37384150

    Biology:Able to change sex

    Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

    Depth:1-20 m

    Habitat:Reef associated

    Max Size:15 cm SL


    Species Maps

    CAAB distribution map