False-eyed Wrasse, Halichoeres biocellatus Schultz 1960

Other Names: Biocellated Wrasse, Red-lined Wrasse, Twospot Wrasse

A female False-eyed Wrasse, Halichoeres biocellatus, at North Rinca Island, Indonesia. Source: zsispeo / Flickr. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

The False-eyed Wrasse can be identified by the small green spot or mark behind the eye, and broad red submarginal band on the caudal fin.
Males (terminal phase) are generally greenish-brown with orange and green stripes on the head that become greenish-brown bands on the rear of the body. 
Females (intermediate phase) are more colourful with pink, blue, and purple stripes on the body, and a pair of ocelli on the dorsal fin.
Juveniles (initial phase) have a series of orange, green and white stripes on the sides, a pair of ocelli on the dorsal fin, and a small black spot on the upper part of the caudal-fin base.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray & Audrey Thompson, Halichoeres biocellatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 21 Feb 2020,

False-eyed Wrasse, Halichoeres biocellatus Schultz 1960

More Info


Ningaloo Reef and Rowley Shoals , Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, with juveniles as far south as Montague Island, New South Wales; also on reefs in the Coral Sea, and at Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. The species also occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits seaward reefs, including reef crests and slopes, usually in areas of mixed coral, rocky or rubble-algae substrates with sand patches.


Traded in the aquarium industry.

Species Citation

Halichoeres biocellatus Schultz 1960, Bull. U.S. Natl Mus. 202(2): 233, fig. 104. Type locality: Marshall Islands. 


Dianne J. Bray & Audrey Thompson


Australian Faunal Directory

False-eyed Wrasse, Halichoeres biocellatus Schultz 1960


Allen, G.R & Erdmann, M.V.2012. Reef Fishes of the East Indies. Volume II. Tropical Reef Research, Perth, Australia.

Cabanban, A., Pollard, D. & Choat, J.H. 2010. Halichoeres biocellatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2015.2. . Downloaded on 10 August 2015.

Goeden, G.B. 1974. Revised list of fishes of Heron Wistari Marine National Park. Technical Paper. Department of Forestry, Queensland 2: 1-19 

Hutchins, J.B. & Swainston, R. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete field guide for anglers and divers. Perth : Swainston Publishing 180 pp. 

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

Randall, J.E. 2005. Reef and shore fishes of the South Pacific. New Caledonia to Tahiti and the Pitcairn Islands. University of Hawaii Press, Honolulu, Hawaii. 720 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. 

Schultz, L.P. 1960. Family Labridae. pp. 121-238, figs 94-104, pls 92-107 in Schultz, L.P., Chapman, W.M., Lachner, E.A. & Woods, L.P. (eds) Fishes of the Marshall and Marianas Islands. Vol. 2. Families Mullidae through Stromateidae. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 202(2): 1-438, figs 91-132, pls 75-123

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384107


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:4-50 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:12 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map