Painted Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys arquatus Russell 1985

Other Names: Painted Rainbow-wrasse, Rainbow Fish, Rainbow Slender Wrasse

A Painted Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys arquatus, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales - depth 20 metres. Source: Ian V. Shaw / Reef Life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

Males (terminal phase) are olive-green with about 5 blue lines along the upper side becoming paler yellowish-greenish below with rows of blue spots along the lower side, blue lines on the face and gill cover, a lavender-pink band extending downward from corner of preopercle onto interopercle, reddish dorsal and anal fins with a fine blue margin, and a diagonal yellow line on the upper part of the caudal fin.
Juveniles and females (initial phase) are reddish above becoming whitish to yellow below, often with faint banding, broken blue lines or rows of spots along the sides, and an ocellus on the upper part of the tail base, and at the front and rear of the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Suezichthys arquatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024,

Painted Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys arquatus Russell 1985

More Info


Southern Queensland, to Bermagui, New South Wales; also the Lord Howe Island region, and Norfolk Island in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in New Zealand, New Caledonia and Japan.
Inhabits sandy patches near algal and sponge covered areas, from estuaries to very deep offshore reefs.


Dorsal fin IX, 11; Anal fin III, 10; Vertebrae 25. 
Predorsal scales 3-5 (rarely 3 or 4); cheek scale rows behind the eye 2; cheek scale 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.

Species Citation

Suezichthys arquatus Russell 1985, Indo-Pacific Fishes 2: 15, pl. 3A, figs 1-2, 6c, 7b. Type locality: Poor Knights Islands, New Zealand. 


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Painted Rainbow Wrasse, Suezichthys arquatus Russell 1985


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

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

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. Honolulu : University of Hawaii Press 707 pp.

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 arquatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187813A8635709. Downloaded on 08 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:37384158


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:5-100 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL

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