Argus Wrasse, Halichoeres argus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

Other Names: Peacock Wrasse

An Argus Wrasse, Halichoeres argus, at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Halichoeres argus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Dec 2022,

Argus Wrasse, Halichoeres argus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

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Recorded in Australia from Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Elsewhere, the species is widespread in the Indo-west Pacific - from Sri Lanka to Tonga including the Indo-Malay Archipelago, north to Ryukyu Islands and south to Australia.
Inhabits shallow coastal reefs, lagoons, reef flats and seagrass beds in 1-10 m.

Species Citation

Labrus argus Bloch & Schneider, 1801, Systema Ichthyologiae: 263. Type locality: Australia (as New Holland).


Dianne J. Bray

Argus Wrasse, Halichoeres argus (Bloch & Schneider 1801)


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.

Bloch, M.E. & Schneider, J.G. 1801. Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum. Berlin 584 pp. 110 pls.

Choat, J.H. 2010. Halichoeres argus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. . Downloaded on 27 August 2014.

Kuiter, R.H. 1992. Tropical Reef-Fishes of the Western Pacific, Indonesia and Adjacent Waters. Jakarta : PT Gramedia Pustaka Utama 314 pp. pls.

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

Randall, J.E. 1980. Two new Indo-Pacific labrid fishes of the genus Halichoeres, with notes on other species of the genus. Pacific Science 34(4): 415-432. 

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.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384194

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-10 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:12 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map