Slender Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus celebicus (Bleeker 1853)

Other Names: Celebes Maori Wrasse, Celebes Maoriwrasse, Celebes Maori-wrasse, Celebes Wrasse, Eared Maori Wrasse, Slender Maori

A Slender Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus celebicus, at Guadalcanal, Solomon Islands. Source: Mark Rosenstein / iNaturalist. License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Males are mottled reddish to brownish with pale flecks on the body scales, orange lines radiating from the eye, a small blue spot on the front of the dorsal fin, and a dark blotch on the caudal peduncle. 
Females are densely mottled with pale red and dark brown blotches, often squarish blotches interspersed with pale bars along the midside forming a broad band that darkens towards the rear, and a small white spot on the upper rear edge of the gill cover. Juveniles have a black ocellus on the caudal-fin base. 

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2017, Oxycheilinus celebicus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 14 Jul 2020,

Slender Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus celebicus (Bleeker 1853)

More Info


Offshore reefs of Western Australia - Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef, and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical east-Indo-west Pacific.
Inhabits sheltered bays and lagoon reefs, usually in coral-rich areas.


Long snout, red lines radiating from eye, mottled red-brown body, dark lateral stripe broken into rectangles that are separated by white streaks near tail, dorsal and anal fins with fine dark flecks.

Species Citation

Cheilinus celebicus Bleeker 1853, Natuurk. Tijdschr. Nederlandsch Indiƫ 5: 171. Type locality: Ujung Pandang, Sulawesi, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Slender Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus celebicus (Bleeker 1853)


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 

Bleeker, P. 1853. Vierde Bijdrage tot de kennis der ichthyologische fauna van Celebes. Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch IndiĆ« 5: 153-174 

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.

Liu, M. & To, A. 2010. Oxycheilinus celebicus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187762A8624186. Downloaded on 11 November 2016.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384179


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:3-40 m

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:20 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map