Three-ribbon Wrasse, Stethojulis trilineata (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

Other Names: Blue-ribbon Wrasse, Red Shouldered Rainbow-fish, Scarlet-banded Rainbowfish, Three-blueline Wrasse, Three-lined Rainbowfish, Three-lined Wrasse

A male Three-ribbon Wrasse, Stethojulis trilineata, at North Point, Lizard Island, Great Barrier Reef, Queensland. Source: Graham Edgar / Lizard Island Filed Guide, License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

Initial phase individuals are greenish to brownish-grey, with many whitish spots on the upper side and a dark spot on the caudal-fin base. Terminal phase individuals have three pale narrow stripes along the body, and a 4th stripe on the head extending to above the pectoral fin.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2018, Stethojulis trilineata in Fishes of Australia, accessed 13 Jun 2024,

Three-ribbon Wrasse, Stethojulis trilineata (Bloch & Schneider 1801)

More Info


Monte Bello Islands and Scott Reef, Western Australia, and the northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, Queensland, to the Solitary Islands, New South Wales - with juveniles to Montague Island; also at Christmas Island in the eastern Indian ocean. Elsewhere the species occurs in the tropical, east-Indo-west Pacific.
Inhabits coral and rocky reefs, often exposed shallow reefs, in depths to 20 m. Individuals, pairs or loose groups are often seen swimming above reef crests or along the tops of drop-offs.


Dorsal fin IX, 11; Anal fin III, 11.

Species Citation

Labrus trilineatus Bloch & Schneider 1801, Systema Ichthyologiae Iconibus ex Illustratum: 253. Type locality: Coromandel, India.


Bray, D.J. 2018


Australian Faunal Directory

Three-ribbon Wrasse, Stethojulis trilineata (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. 

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

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 

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

Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. A comprehensive reference for divers and fishermen. Sydney, NSW, Australia : New Holland Publishers xvii, 434 pp. 

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

Kuiter, R.H. 2010. Labridae fishes: wrasses. Seaford, Victoria, Australia : Aquatic Photographics pp. 398.

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. 2000. Revision of the Indo-Pacific labrid fishes of the genus Stethojulis, with descriptions of two new species. Indo-Pacific Fishes 31: 1-42 figs 1-9 

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.

Shea, S., Liu, M., Craig, M.T. & Rocha, L.A. 2010. Stethojulis trilineata. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187689A8601575. Downloaded on 12 November 2017.

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:37384157


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-20 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:15 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map