Ringtail Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus unifasciatus (Streets 1877)

Other Names: Ring-tail Maori Wrasse, Tail-band Maori, Tail-band Maori-wrasse, Whiteband Maori Wrasse

A Ringtail Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus unifasciatus, at Rapid Horn, Holmes Reef, Coral Sea, November 2006. Source: Erik Schlogl / iNaturalist.org. License: CC by Attribution-NonCommercial

A reddish to purplish-brown maori wrasse with a white band around the caudal peduncle. Males have a distinct whitish to greyish bar outlined in orange to brown on the gill cover behind the eye, and fine oblique lines on the cheek.

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

Ringtail Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus unifasciatus (Streets 1877)

More Info


Recorded in Australia from Ningaloo Reef and offshore reefs (Rowley Shoals & Scott Reef), Western Australia, Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and Lizard Island to the Capricorn Group, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland; also Cocos (Keeling) Islands and Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. The species occurs elsewhere in the tropical, west-central Pacific.


Bray, D.J. 2017


Australian Faunal Directory

Ringtail Maori Wrasse, Oxycheilinus unifasciatus (Streets 1877)


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

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 21 pp.

Allen, G.R.  & Steene, R.C. 1988. Fishes of Christmas Island Indian Ocean. Christmas Island Natural History Association, Christmas Island, Indian Ocean, 6798, Australia. 197 pp.

Allen, G.R. & Swainston, R. 1988. The Marine Fishes of North-Western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Perth, WA : Western Australian Museum vi 201 pp., 70 pls.

Craig, M., Rocha, L. & Liu, M. 2010. Oxycheilinus unifasciatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187674A8597287. http://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T187674A8597287.en. Downloaded on 11 November 2016.

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. 

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., 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.

Streets, T.H. 1877. Contributions to the natural history of the Hawaiian and Fanning Islands and Lower California. Fishes. Bulletin of the United States National Museum 7: 43-102.

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:37384068

Biology:Capable of changing sex

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-160 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish (& food fish)

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:46 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map