Twotone Wrasse, Halichoeres prosopeion (Bleeker 1853)

Other Names: Half-grey Wrasse

A Twotone Wrasse, Halichoeres prosopeion, on the Great Barrier Reef. Source: Andrew J. Green / Reef life Survey. License: CC by Attribution

A small wrasse with the head and front of body bluish-grey shading to yellowish behind, and a large black blue-edged spot near the front of the dorsal fin - males and females similar. Juveniles have four black stripes along the head and sides.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Halichoeres prosopeion in Fishes of Australia, accessed 09 Dec 2022,

Twotone Wrasse, Halichoeres prosopeion (Bleeker 1853)

More Info


Known in Australia from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Qld, to Sydney, NSW; also at Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Found elsewhere in the tropical west-Pacific. Usually solitary in deeper coral-rich areas in lagoons, seaward reefs, along reef slopes and drop-offs at the bottom of large caves.


Meristic features: Dorsal fin IX, 12; Anal fin III, 12; Pectoral fin 13-14; Lateral line pores 27.
Head naked with a single forward-directed canine at corner of mouth; lateral line continuous.

Species Citation

Julis (Halichoeres) prosopeion Bleeker, 1853, Natuurwetenschappelijk Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 5: 347. Type locality: Ambon, Indonesia.


Dianne J. Bray

Twotone Wrasse, Halichoeres prosopeion (Bleeker 1853)


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

Bleeker, P. 1853. Vierde bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Amboina. Natuurwetenschappelijk Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 5: 317-352.

Choat, J.H. 2010. Halichoeres prosopeion. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. . Downloaded on 18 August 2014

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.

Hutchins, J.B. 2001. Checklist of the fishes of Western Australia. Records of the Western Australian Museum, Supplement 63: 9-50.

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

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Fairy and rainbow wrasses and their relatives – a comprehensive guide to selected labrids. TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, UK.

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

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:37384120

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:2-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:13 cm SL

Species Maps

CAAB distribution map