Novaculichthys taeniourus (Lacepède, 1801)
Novaculichthys taeniourus (Lacepède, 1801)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Novaculichthys taeniourus

English Name: Rockmover wrasse

Creole Name: Mardel

French Name: Rason algue

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 9; Dorsal rays: 12-13; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 12-13.

Moderately full-bodied wrasse. Dorsal profile of head about 45°. First 2 dorsal spines of juveniles greatly prolonged. Caudal fin rounded to sub- truncate.

Colour. Adults greyish-brown shading to yellowish-brown posteriorly. Head grey. Iris red. Small curved black band beneath basal part of pectoral fin.  
A small bright orange spot at pectoral fin axial. A black spot on each of the first 2 dorsal membranes and a whitish bar at base of caudal fin.Feamles exhibit a patch of 
red coloured scales anterioventrally. 

Juveniles reddish, green, or brown with irregular black edged white spots in about four rows on body and large black edged white bands radiating from eye.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 30 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits sandy and rubble areas among coral reefs, including semi-exposed reef flats, lagoons and seaward reefs subject to mild surge (depth 3-25 m, usually down to 14 m).

Juveniles are found over shallow rubble amongst large coral heads or protected open patches on reef crests often mimicing leaves and debris being swept back and forth 
by the swell. Adults are territorial and often occur in pairs over rubble areas, typically moving rubble or debris to reveal prey items. Feed on molluscs, sea urchins, 
brittle stars, polychaetes, and crabs. Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is caught occasionally in nets, but is an uncommon component of the catch.





Bray, D.J. (2019).  Novaculichthys taeniourus in Fishes of Australia, (28/03/20).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2019). FishBase. (05/06/19).
Pollard, D. et al. (2010). Novaculichthys taeniourus. The IUCN Red List 2010:  (28/03/20).
Randall, J.E. (1986). Labridae. p. 683-706. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.


Nevill, J.E.G. (2019). Novaculichthys taeniourus, Rockmover wrasse. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 13/07/22)

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