Pinklined Wrasse, Coris dorsomacula Fowler 1908

Other Names: Pale-barred Coris, Pink-lined Coris, Pink-lined Rainbow Wrasse, Pink-lined Wrasse, Spotfin Coris, Spotfin Wrasse

A Pinklined Wrasse, Coris dorsomacula, at Stradbroke Island, Queensland, June 2022. Source: John Turnbull / Flickr. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial-ShareAlike

A pale pink to pale greenish wrasse with a broad pinkish to reddish stripe from the snout through the eye and along the upper side that breaks up into spots on the rear of the body (and shortens with growth), additional narrower stripes along the side, about 8 narrow pale bars along the side, a C-shaped pink band on the tail, a black yellow-rimmed spot on the rear of the gill cover, and a small black basal spot at the rear of the dorsal fin. Males also have a yellow and black spot on the anterior tip of the dorsal fin.

Juveniles are pale overall with a broad dark stripe along the side crossed by a series of narrow white vertical bars, a yellow spot on the rear of the gill cover and a small black spot on the rear of the dorsal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2022, Coris dorsomacula in Fishes of Australia, accessed 19 Apr 2024,

Pinklined Wrasse, Coris dorsomacula Fowler 1908

More Info


Known in Australia from Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and Ashmore Reef and Lizard Island, Queensland, to Montague Island, in southern New South Wales; also at Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the East-Indo-Central Pacific, from Cocos (Keeling) to Tonga, north to Japan and south to Australia and northern New Zealand.

Found on coral and rocky reefs, inhabiting deep gutters, reef margins and open weedy, rubble and sandy areas.


Dorsal fin IX,12; Anal fin III,12. First 2 dorsal-fin spines with flexible tips slightly longer than other dorsal-fin spines. 


The specific name dorsomacula is from the Latin dorsum (= back) and macula (= spot), in reference to the black spot on the rear of the dorsal-fin base of females.

Species Citation

Coris dorsomacula Fowler, 1908, Proc. Acad. Nat. Sci., Philad. 59(3): 436, fig. 8. Type locality: Victoria (presumably an error)


Bray, D.J. 2022


Atlas of Living Australia

Pinklined Wrasse, Coris dorsomacula Fowler 1908


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

Allen, G.R. & Erdmann, M.V. 2012. Reef fishes of the East Indies. Perth : Tropical Reef Research 3 vols, 1260 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21.

Allen, G.R. & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 197 pp.

Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen pp. 437.

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

Kuiter R.W. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Indonesian Reef Fishes. Part 3. Melbourne : Zoonetics pp. 623–893.

Craig, M.T. 2010. Coris dorsomacula. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. . Downloaded on 25 September 2013.

Fowler, H.W. 1908. A collection of fishes from Victoria, Australia. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences, Philadelphia 59(3): 419-444 figs 1-10 [dated 1907]

Francis, M.P., C.J. Worthington, P. Saul & K.D. Clements. 1999. New and rare tropical and subtropical fishes from northern New Zealand. N.Z. J. Mar. Freshwat. Res. 33: 571-586.

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

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

Randall, J.E. 1999. Revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fishes of the genus Coris, with descriptions of five new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 29: 1-74 pls 1-7 pls 1-22

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.

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:37384093

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:38 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map