Tripletail Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus trilobatus Lacépède 1801


Other Names: Maori Wrasse, Trilobed Maori Wrasse, Triple-tail Maori, Triple-tail Maori-wrasse, Tripletail Wrasse, Trippletail Maori Wrasse

A Tripletail Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus trilobatus, at the Murion Islands, Western Australia, November 2019. Source: Glen Whisson / iNaturalist.org. License: CC By Attribution-NonCommercial

Summary:
A mottled greenish-brown wrasse with four broad dark bars along the side, mottled purple and red markings, a curved vertical red line on the body scales forming narrow vertical lines along the side, and numerous small red spots and lines on the head. The caudal fin has a pale to reddish margin, and three lobes on tail in large males. Juveniles have 3-4 dark midlateral spots and more prominent dark bars along the side.

Cite this page as:
Bray, D.J. 2021, Cheilinus trilobatus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 06 Mar 2021, http://136.154.202.208/home/species/2961

Tripletail Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus trilobatus Lacépède 1801

More Info


Distribution

Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia, to Kingscliff, New South Wales, including offshore reefs of north Western Australia and Ashmore Reef in the Timor Sea, and reefs in the Coral Sea;  also Christmas Island and Cocos (Keeling) Islands in the eastern Indian Ocean, and the Lord Howe Province in the Tasman Sea. Elsewhere the species is widespread in the tropical, Indo-west-central Pacific: East Africa, South Africa, Socotra, Seychelles, Comoros, Madagascar and Mascarenes east to Wake Atoll and Gambier Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Australia, New Caledonia and the Austral Islands.
Inhabits coral lagoons, coastal reef-flats, seaward reefs, and shallow reef margins with high coral cover. Juveniles are secretive and occur on algal reefs, often around stinging hydrozoans.

Features

Dorsal fin IX, 10: Anal fin III, 8; Pectoral fins 12 (uppermost 2 rays unbranched); Lateral line (pored scales) 22-23.
Body moderately deep, depth 2.3-2.6 times in SL; dorsal profile of head convex; anterior tip of snout forming an acute angle; jaws prominent, 2 strong canines anteriorly in each jaw; no enlarged tooth in rear of upper jaw. 
Lateral line interrupted below posterior portion of dorsal-fin base; scales reaching well onto bases of dorsal and anal fins; scales in front of dorsal fin extending forward to above centre of eye; cheek and opercle scaled; lower jaw without scales.
Pelvic fins long, reaching anus in small fish, well beyond in adults; centre of caudal fin rounded in adults, with the upper and lower rays forming elongate lobes giving the fin a trilobed appearance; 

Colour

Body colour variable, ranging from green to brown with mottled purple and red markings; 4 vertical dark bars on body that are often indistinct on large individuals; head with numerous small red spots; red lines radiating from anterior and posterior of eye; scales on sides each with a vertical, slightly curved red line; dorsal, anal, and pectoral fins yellow or green with distal red streaks; caudal fin green with a red posterior margin; juveniles with 3-4 dark spots midlaterally on sides and more prominent dark bars.

Feeding

Feeds mostly on hard-shelled benthic invertebrates, including sea urchins, molluscs, and crustaceans, and occasionally on small fishes.

Fisheries

Taken in multi-species fisheries in parts of its range, and is occasionally collected for the aquarium trade.

Remarks

The species is able to rapidly change colour.

Etymology

The specific name trilobatus is from the Latin tri- (= three) and lobatus (= lobed) in reference to the caudal fin which has a rounded central part and protruding upper and lower lobes.

Species Citation

Cheilinus trilobatus Lacépède 1801, Histoire Naturelle des Poissons Vol. 3: 529, 537, pl. 31(3). Type locality: Madagascar.

Author

Bray, D.J. 2021

Resources

Atlas of Living Australia

Tripletail Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus trilobatus Lacépède 1801

References


Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Perth : Western Australian Museum 292 pp. 106 pls.

Allen, G.R., Kwok Ho, S., Min, L. & Sadovy, Y.J. 2010. Cheilinus trilobatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154623A4590807. https://dx.doi.org/10.2305/IUCN.UK.2010-4.RLTS.T154623A4590807.en. Downloaded on 10 February 2021.

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 

Allen, G.R. & Smith-Vaniz, W.F. 1994. Fishes of Cocos (Keeling) Islands. Atoll Research Bulletin 412: 1-21

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. 

Choat, J.H., van Herwerden, L., Robbins, W.D., Hobbs, J.P. & Ayling, A.M. 2006. A report on the ecological surveys undertaken at Middleton and Elizabeth Reefs, February 2006. Report by James Cook University to the Department of the Environment and Heritage. 65 pp. 

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Checklist and new records of Christmas Island fishes: the influence of isolation, biogeography and habitat availability on species abundance and community composition. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 184–202 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

Hobbs, J-P.A., Newman, S.J., Mitsopoulos, G.E.A., Travers, M.J., Skepper, C.L., Gilligan, J.J., Allen, G.R., Choat, H.J. & Ayling, A.M. 2014. Fishes of the Cocos (Keeling) Islands: new records, community composition and biogeographic significance. Raffles Bulletin of Zoology Supplement 30: 203–219 https://lkcnhm.nus.edu.sg/rbz/supplement-no-30/

Hutchins, J.B. 1997. Checklist of fishes of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. pp. 239-253 in Wells, F. (ed.) The Marine Fauna and Flora of the Houtman Abrolhos Islands, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

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 

Hutchins, J.B. 2003. Checklist of marine fishes of the Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia. pp. 453-478 in Wells, F.E., Walker, D.I., & Jones, D.S. (eds). Proceedings of the Eleventh International Marine Biological Workshop: The Marine Flora and Fauna of Dampier, Western Australia. Perth : Western Australian Museum. 

Johnson, J.W. 2010. Fishes of the Moreton Bay Marine Park and adjacent continental shelf waters, Queensland, Australia. pp. 299-353 in Davie, P.J.F. & Phillips, J.A. Proceedings of the Thirteenth International Marine Biological Workshop, The Marine Fauna and Flora of Moreton Bay. Memoirs of the Queensland Museum 54(3) 

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. 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. 

Kuiter, R.H. and Tonozuka, T. 2001. Pictorial guide to Indonesian reef fishes. Part 2. Fusiliers - Dragonets, Caesionidae - Callionymidae. Australia : Zoonetics pp. 304-622.

Lacépède, B.G. 1801. Histoire Naturelle des Poissons. Paris : chez Plassan Vol. 3 558 pp. 34 pls. 

Larson, H.K., Williams, R.S. & Hammer, M.P. 2013. An annotated checklist of the fishes of the Northern Territory, Australia. Zootaxa 3696(1): 1-293 

Oxley, W.G., Ayling, A.M., Cheal, A.J. & Thompson, A.A. 2003. Marine surveys undertaken in the Coringa-Herald National Nature Reserve, March-April 2003. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science 59 pp. 

Oxley, W.G., Emslie, M., Muir, P. & Thompson, A.A. 2004. Marine surveys undertaken in the Lihou Reef National Nature Reserve, March 2004. Townsville : Australian Institute of Marine Science i-vii, 1-67 pp. 

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. 

Russell, B.C., Larson, H.K., Hutchins, J.B. & Allen, G.R. 2005. Reef fishes of the Sahul Shelf. The Beagle, Records of the Museums and Art Galleries of the Northern Territory Supplement 1 2005: 83-105 

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:37384044

Biology:Hermaphrodite

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:1-30 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:45 cm TL

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