Thalassoma lunare (Linnaeus, 1758)
Thalassoma lunare (Linnaeus, 1758)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Thalassoma lunare

English Name: Moon wrasse

Creole Name:

French Name: Girelle verte

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


Dorsal spines: 8; Dorsal rays: 13; Anal spines: 3; Anal rays: 11.

Slim moderately elongate-bodied, small wrasse. Caudal fin varies from truncate in juveniles to strongly lunate in large males. Head naked except for patch of small scales 
dorsally on opercle.

Colour.  Base colour green with vertical red to purplish lines on flanks. Head green to blue with irregular rose pink to red bands Adults with large yellow crescent 
posteriorly in caudal fin and blue-edged rose band in each lobe. Pectoral fin blue with large elongate pink spot in upper centre.

Large males turn blue on the head that grades to green towards the tail. Juveniles with a large blackish spot in middle of dorsal fin and a large diffuse blackish spot at 
base of caudal fin.


Maturity: Lm unknown. Range unknown. Max Length: 25 cm TL.

Habitat and Ecology:

Inhabits coral, coastal, rocky and sheltered reefs (depth 1-30 m, usually 1-20 m). Diurnal, usually found on upper portions of ledges and heads. Solitary or in groups. Feeds 
mainly on small benthic invertebrates and fish eggs, and occasionally on small fish. Juveniles are more abundant in coral areas where they remain close to the substrate, 
especially branching Acropora corals. Protogynous hermaphrodite where individuals change sex from females to males. Males are significantly larger than females of the same 
age. Pair spawning, involving a single male and female, or aggregate spawning in which one female and a group of males have been observed.


Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It does not appear to be subject to the artisanal fishery except presumably occasionally in nets.


Photo courtesy of Mark Blum, taken in Baie Lazare, January 2001.


Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2020). FishBase. (12/07/20).
Randall, J.E. (1986). Labridae. p. 683-706. In M.M. Smith and P.C. Heemstra (eds.) Smiths' sea fishes. Springer-Verlag, Berlin.
Shea, S. et al. (2010). Thalassoma lunare. The IUCN Red List 2010: (12/07/20).


Nevill, J.E.G. (2020). Thalassoma lunare, Moon wrasse. Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 14/07/22).  

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