Earmuff Wrasse, Halichoeres melasmapomus Randall 1981


Other Names: Black-eared Wrasse, Cheekspot Wrasse, Ocellated Wrasse

A female Earmuff Wrasse, Halichoeres melasmapomus, at Marovo Island, Solomon Islands, November 2014. Source: Mark Rosenstein / iNaturalist.org. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Summary:
A distinctive wrasse with a large pale-edged black spot on the gill cover. Males (terminal phase) are lavender with a darker marking on each scale, a large blue-edged black spot behind the eye, yellow-orange bands on the head, and a red caudal fin. The similar females (initial phase) have 2-3 pale-edged black spots along the dorsal fin, and a large pale-edged black spot on the caudal fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2020, Halichoeres melasmapomus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 11 Jul 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/2293

Earmuff Wrasse, Halichoeres melasmapomus Randall 1981

More Info


Distribution

Rowley Shoals, Western Australia, the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland, and reefs in the Coral Sea; also at Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere, the species occurs in the east-Indo-west-central Pacific.
Inhabits deeper reefs, on rubble and mixed coral/rubble patches often along steep drop-offs. The species is rare in shallow waters.

Features

Dorsal fin IX, 12; Anal fin III, 12; Pectoral fin 13; Principal caudal rays 14 (middle 12 branched); Gill rakers 14-18; Lateral line scales 27; Vertebrae 25. Anterior lateral line scales with 2-7 pores, more in larger adults; 9-13 suborbital pores. Pelvic fins reaching or nearly reaching anus in large adults.

Etymology

The specific name melasmapomus is from the Greek in reference to the large black spot on the opercle, the most characteristic color marking at all stages.

Species Citation

Halichoeres melasmapomus Randall 1981, Pacific Science 34(4): 421, figs 3-4. Type locality: Pitcairn Island, reef on north side off Gannet Ridge, 40-44 m.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2020

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Earmuff Wrasse, Halichoeres melasmapomus Randall 1981

References


Allen, G.R. 1993. Fishes of Ashmore Reef and Cartier Island. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 44: 67-91

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. & Russell, B.C. 1986. Part VII Fishes. pp. 79-103 in Berry, P.F. (ed.) Faunal Surveys of the Rowley Shoals, Scott Reef and Seringapatam Reef, northwestern Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 25: 1-106 

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. 1979. The Fishes of Christmas Island, Indian Ocean. Aust. Natl. Parks Wldlf. Ser. Spec. Publ. 2. Canberra : Australian Government Publishing Service 81 pp. 15 pls. 

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

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Barber, P.H. & Bellwood, D.R. 2005. Biodiversity hotspots: evolutionary origins of biodiversity in wrasses (Halichoeres: Labridae) in the Indo-Pacific and new world tropics. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution 35: 235-253 https://doi.org/10.1016/j.ympev.2004.10.004

Choat, J.H. 2010. Halichoeres melasmapomus . The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187564A8569710. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T187564A8569710.en. Downloaded on 03 March 2020.

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S .J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Biodiversity of shallow reef fish assemblages in Western Australia using a rapid censusing technique. Records of the Western Australian Museum 20: 247-270

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses and their Relatives. Chorleywood, U.K. : TMC Publishing 207 pp. (as Halichoeres xanti, in part, as senior synonym of Halichoeres melasmapomus)

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398. (as Biochoeres xanti, in part, as senior synonym of Halichoeres melasmapomus)

Moore, G.I., Morrison, S.M., Hutchins, J.B., Allen, G.R. & Sampey, A. 2014. Kimberley marine biota. Historical data: fishes. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 84: 161-206

Randall, J.E. 1981. Two new Indo-Pacific labrid fishes of the genus Halichoeres with notes on other species of the genus. Pacific Science 34(4): 415-432 figs 1-16 http://hdl.handle.net/10125/1640, open access

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.

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.

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:37384116

Biology:Hermaphrodite

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:10-56 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:14 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map