Red Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus oxycephalus Bleeker 1853

Other Names: Plain-faced Maori Wrasse, Pointed Head Maori Wrasse, Point-head Maori, Pointhead Maori-wrasse, Snooty Maori Wrasse, Snooty Wrasse, Snooty Wrasse

A Red Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus oxycephalus, at Komodo, Komodo, Manggarai, Nusa Tenggara Timur, Indonesia. Source: Mark Rosenstein / License: CC BY Attribution-Noncommercial-ShareAlike

A relatively deep-bodied wrasse ranging in colour from red to greenish-brown, with a black spot on the front of the dorsal fin, and three black spots along the rear midsides.
This shy, secretive wrasse hides among corals, rarely venturing far from shelter.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2019, Cheilinus oxycephalus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 25 Feb 2021,

Red Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus oxycephalus Bleeker 1853

More Info


Offshore reefs of Western Australia (e.g. Rowley Shoals and Scott Reef), Ashmore Reef, Timor Sea, and the far northern Great Barrier Reef and reefs in the Coral Sea, to the Capricorn Group, Queensland; also Christmas Island in the eastern Indian Ocean. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific.
Individuals or pairs inhabit coral-rich areas of lagoons and outer reefs at depths to 40 m.

Species Citation

Cheilinus oxycephalus Bleeker 1853, Natuurkundig Tijdschrift voor Nederlandsch Indië 5: 349. Type locality:  Ambon, Indonesia.


Bray, D.J. 2019


Australian Faunal Directory

Red Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus oxycephalus Bleeker 1853


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To, A., Liu, M. & Sadovy, Y. 2010. Cheilinus oxycephalus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187649A8589714. Downloaded on 19 February 2019.

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:37384067


Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:0-40 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:17 cm TL

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Species Maps

CAAB distribution map