Thalassoma trilobatum (Lacepède, 1801)
Thalassoma trilobatum (Lacepède, 1801)
Genus: , ,

Scientific Name: Thalassoma trilobatum

English Name: Christmas wrasse

Creole Name:

French Name: Girelle de Noël

IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC)


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

Moderately full bodied, medium-sized wrasse. Caudal fin of initial phase slightly rounded to truncate, of terminal males truncate to slightly double emarginate.


Initial Phase: Body greenish grey to pale green, a dark vertical line on most scales, and 5-6 dark saddles on back. Head green with dark spots dorsally Two dark stripes on 
flank. A diagonal or C-shaped pink to dark red line below front of eye.

Terminal phase: Body orangish-brown with 2 longitudinal series of vertical green rectangles partially edged in turquoise. Head plain orange-brown. Dorsal and anal fin 
orange-brown with blue margin. Pectoral fin orange-brown in fore portion and dark blue in distal portion. Caudal fin green, posterior third turquoise. 


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

Habitat and Ecology:

This species is generally found inshore, over shallow exposed reef flats, usually with rock-base and mixed coral and algae (depth 0-10 m). It also occurs on surge-swept reef 
flats, reef margins, and clear rocky shorelines. Benthopelagic. Feeds on crustaceans (especially crabs), molluscs, and brittle stars. Found solitary or in groups. Oviparous, 
distinct pairing during breeding.

Fishery Status:

This species is not protected or subject to fishery regulations. It is occasionally caught in net fisheries, but is a very rare component of the catch.


The initial phase of this wrasse is almost indistinguishable from that of T. purpureum. It has a more spotted and shorter head which lacks the distinct 'V' on the snout 
of T. purpureum.


Bray, D.J. (2017). Thalassoma trilobatum in Fishes of Australia, (14/04/20).
Cabanban, A. & Pollard, D. (2010). Thalassoma trilobatum. The IUCN Red List 2010: (14/04/20).
Froese, R. & D. Pauly. (Eds.) (2019). FishBase. (05/06/19).
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). Thalassoma trilobatum, Christmas wrasse . Seychelles Seatizens. (edited 14/07/22).  

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