Canarytop Wrasse, Halichoeres leucoxanthus Randall & Smith 1982

Other Names: Banana Four Spot, Lemon Meringue Wrasse, Whitebelly Wrasse, Yellow Wrasse

Canarytop Wrasse, Halichoeres leucoxanthus, in the Maldives. Source: Jim Greenfield / FishBase. License: All rights reserved

A distinctive wrasse with a bright yellow upper half and white underside. Dives into the sand to sleep at night.

Cite this page as:
Dianne J. Bray, Halichoeres leucoxanthus in Fishes of Australia, accessed 03 Oct 2023,

Canarytop Wrasse, Halichoeres leucoxanthus Randall & Smith 1982

More Info


Occurs at the Australian territory of Christmas Island in the Indian Ocean. Found elsewhere in the Indian Ocean including the Maldives, Thailand, peninsular Malaysia and Sumatra. Inhabits sandy and rubble areas along the reef edge - often seen in small groups.

Species Citation

Halichoeres leucoxanthus Randall & Smith, 1982, Ichthyol. Bull. J. L. B. Smith Inst. Ichthyol. 45: (3) 20, Pl. 8 (figs. C-D). Type locality: Eastern end of Java, Indonesia.


Dianne J. Bray

Canarytop Wrasse, Halichoeres leucoxanthus Randall & Smith 1982


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

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

Allen, G.R., Steene, R.C. & Orchard, M. 2007. Fishes of Christmas Island. Christmas Island : Christmas Island Natural History Association 2 edn, 284 pp.

Choat, J.H. 2010. Halichoeres leucoxanthus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2014.2. . Downloaded on 09 August 2014.

Edwards, A.J. & Shepherd, 
A.D. 1992. Environmental implications of aquarium-fish collection in the Maldives, with proposals for regulation. Environnmental Conservation 19: 61-72.

Gomon, M.F. & Randall, J.E. 1984. Labridae. In W. Fischer & Bianchi, G. (eds.) FAO species identification sheets for fishery purposes. Western Indian Ocean fishing area 51. Vol. 2.

Kuiter, R.H. 2002. Fairy and rainbow wrasses and their relatives – a comprehensive guide to selected labrids. TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, UK.

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

Randall, J.E. & Smith, M.M. 1982. A review of the labrid fishes of the genus Halichoeres of the western Indian Ocean, with descriptions of six new species. Ichthyological Bulletin of the J. L. B. Smith Institute of Ichthyology 45: 1-26.

Quick Facts

CAAB Code:37384215

Conservation:IUCN Least Concern

Depth:7-60 m

Fishing:Aquarium fish

Habitat:Reef associated

Max Size:12 cm TL

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CAAB distribution map