Pearly Wrasse, Halichoeres margaritaceus (Valenciennes 1839)


Other Names: Pearl-spotted Wrasse, Pinkbelly Wrasse, Pink-belly Wrasse, Reef-flat Wrasse, Saddled Rainbowfish, Saddled Rainbow-fish, Weedy Surge Wrasse

A Pearly Wrasse, Halichoeres margaritaceus, at North Solitary Island, New South Wales - 18 October 2008. Source: Ian V. Shaw. License: CC by Attribution

Summary:
Females (intermediate phase) are a mottled brown-green to pinkish above, pale below, with white blotches on the sides, a pink area on the rear of the abdomen, a black spot behind the eye and one at the upper "corner" of the gill cover, and a  on the middle of the dorsal fin. Males (terminals phase) are green with orange-red spots, and lack the pinkish and white markings of females.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Halichoeres margaritaceus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 12 Jul 2020, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/234

Pearly Wrasse, Halichoeres margaritaceus (Valenciennes 1839)

More Info


Distribution

Shark Bay, Western Australia, to Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef to northern New South Wales; also reefs in the Coral Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the western-central Pacific. 
Inhabits shallow reefs and rocky shores, commonly in shallow areas exposed to wave surge. 

Features

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11; Anal spines: 3; Anal soft rays: 11.

Colour

Females olivaceous on back, the scale edges dark brown, pale ventrally, with whitish blotches of unequal size and a large pink area posteriorly on the abdomen; a black spot on opercular flap, small one behind eye, one at front of dorsal fin and a large one rimmed in yellow or blue in middle of fin; no black spot at upper base of pectoral fins; males green with orange-red spots, some linked to form irregular markings, the white blotches and large pink area on abdomen lost, and the black spots lost or reduced. Males are distinguished by different cheek patterns.

Feeding

Caranivore - feeds on benthic crustaceans, molluscs, polychaetes, forams, fishes and fish eggs.

Similar Species

Differs from the similar Cloud Wrasse, Halichoeres nebulosus, in having the band across the cheek slightly rising posteriorly vs, descending posteriorly in the Cloud Wrasse.

Species Citation

Julis margaritaceus Valenciennes 1839, Hist. Nat. Poiss. 13: 484. Type locality: Vanikoro.

Author

Dianne J. Bray

Resources

Australian Faunal Directory

Pearly Wrasse, Halichoeres margaritaceus (Valenciennes 1839)

References


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

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.

De Vis, C.W. 1885. New fishes in the Queensland Museum. No. 5. Proceedings of the Linnean Society of New South Wales 1 9(4): 869-887 ( p. 885, as Platyglossus equinus).

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

Gloerfelt-Tarp, T. & Kailola, P.J. 1984. Trawled Fishes of Southern Indonesia and Northwest Australia. Jakarta : Dir. Gen. Fish. (Indonesia), German Tech. Coop., Aust. Dev. Ass. Bur. 406 pp.

Grant, E.M. 1975. Guide to Fishes. Brisbane : Queensland Government, Co-ordinator General’s Department 640 pp. 

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

Kuiter, R.H. & Randall, J.E. 1981. Three look-alike Indo-Pacific labrid fishes, Halichoeres margaritaceus, H. nebulosus and H. miniatus. Revue Française d'Aquariologie et Herpétologie 8(1): 13-18 figs 1-10

Kuiter, R.H. & Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Zoonetics, Australia.

Johnson, J.W., 1999. Annotated checklist of the fishes of Moreton Bay, Queensland, Australia. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 43(2): 709-762.

Ludt, WB, Bernal M, Bowen B, Rocha LA. 2012. Living in the past: Phylogeography and population histories of Indo-Pacific Wrasses (Genus Halichoeres) in shallow lagoons versus outer reef slopes. PLoS ONE 7(6): e38042. doi:10.1371/journal.pone.0038042  

Marshall, T.C. 1964. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coastal Waters of Queensland. Sydney : Angus & Robertson 566 pp. 136 pls.

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.

Rocha, L. & Craig, M. 2010. Halichoeres margaritaceus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187443A8537006. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T187443A8537006.en. Downloaded on 11 August 2016.

Valenciennes, A. in Cuvier, G.L. & Valenciennes, A. 1839. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : Levrault Vol. 13 505 pp. pls 369-388. 

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:37384113

Biology:Hermaphrodite

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-15 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:12.5 cm SL

Species Image Gallery

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map