Deepwater Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus Randall & Nagareda 2002

Holotype of the Deepwater Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus, a terminal phase male from Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea, AMS I.41103-001, 48.7 mm SL. Source: Fenton Walsh, Cairns Marine, in Walsh et al. (2017) JOSF 26: Fig. 6, . License: CC BY Attribution

A deepwater fairy wrasse with a yellow caudal fin with a broad black submarginal band, and blue blotches on the upper part. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2023, Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 15 Apr 2024,

Deepwater Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus Randall & Nagareda 2002

More Info


Northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and Holmes Reef in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs on the Chesterfield Bank, New Caledonia, and in southern Vanuatu. Inhabits coral reefs and rubble areas.


This species is distinct in having 15 pectoral rays, 16-17 + 5 lateral-line scaes, 5 median predorsal scales, 2 rows of scales on cheek, 14-15 gill rakers, a large eye (8.2-12.1% SL over the range in SL of 35-76 mm), emarginate caudal fin and short pelvic fins in the male, and a colour pattern of the male of a very broad longitudinal black band in the outer part of the dorsal fin (absent in middle of fin of largest males), and a submarginal black band in the caudal fin.


A protogynous hermaphrodite.

Similar Species

Similar to Cirrhilabrus nahackyi, from Viti Levu, Fiji, and Tongatapu, Tonga.


The species is named bathyphilus from the Greek, in reference to the deepwater habitat of this species.

Species Citation

Randall & Nagareda, 2002, Cybium 26(2): 124. Type locality: Holmes Reef, Coral Sea, 16°24.76'S, 148°0.50'E, depth 6-8 metres.


Bray, D.J. 2023


Atlas of Living Australia

Deepwater Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus Randall & Nagareda 2002


Allen, G.R., J. Drew & P. Barber. 2008. Cirrhilabrus beauperryi a new wrasse (Pisces: Labridae) from Melanesia. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 14(3): 129-140.

Allen, G R., Randall, J.E. & Carlson, B.A. 2003. Cirrhilabrus marjorie, a new wrasse (Pisces: Labridae) from Fiji. aqua, Journal of Ichthyology and Aquatic Biology 7(3): 113-118.

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

Randall, J.E & B.H. Nagareda, 2002. Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus, a new deep-dwelling labrid fish from the Coral Sea. Cybium 26(2): 123-127.

Rocha, L. 2010. Cirrhilabrus bathyphilus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.3. . Downloaded on 25 November 2014.

Walsh, F. & H. Tanaka. 2012. Cirrhilabrus nahackyi, a new wrasse (Perciformes; Labridae) from the South Pacific. aqua, International Journal of Ichthyology 18(1): 1-8.

Walsh, F., Tea, Y.-K. &Tanaka, H. 2017. Cirrhilabrus efatensis, a new species of wrasse (Teleostei: Labridae) from Vanuatu, South Pacific Ocean. Journal of the Ocean Science Foundation 26: 68-79.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384193

Behaviour:6-217 m

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Max Size:8 cm SL

Max Size:Reef associated

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map