Halichoeres marginatus   Ruppell,  1835 (Fish)
Organism information awaits expert curation
Class: Actinopterygii

Image copyrights: Randall, J.E.

Size: 16-18 cm TL (male)

Color: Variable; usually greenish black with dark center for each scale. A green band from snout to eye and another from upper lip to eye. Two oblique bands sometimes present from hind border of eye to upper side of operculum. One band from chin to operculum. Three or four irregular light bands on preopercle and opercle. Dorsal and anal dark violet with numerous light ocelli and often a longitudinal green subterminal band and white outer margin. A dark violet crescent shaped broad area in the middle of the caudal with light ocelli, often a green band posterior to the crescent mark and a lighter border. Basal half of pectoral black, distal half whitish. Ventral grey.

Head 3.4-3.7 in standard length, 4.1-4.5 in total length. Depth of body 2.6-2.9 in standard length, 3.2-3.5 in total length. Snout 3.2-3.4 in head. Eye diameter 1.5-2.0 in snout and 1.2-1.5 in interorbital space. Mouth small, nearly horizontal, slightly below level of lower border of eye. Teeth in a single series in jaws, the anterior pair in each jaw canines. A canine at corner of mouth. Lateral line continuous. Pectoral and ventral fins subequal, one eye diameter shorter than head. Head naked, excepting above, where the scales begin above hinder part of eye. About 15-17 rows of sales before dorsal, smaller than those of body, specially anteriorly. Similar small scales on thorax, immediately behind isthmus, both not extending as far as pectorals or ventrals, where the scales are much larger. Dorsal spines feeble, but stiff and pungent. First spine equal to or shorter than eye, parallel to the following. Last spine as long as snout or half diameter of eye longer. Soft dorsal higher than spinous part, the longest ray equal to snout and eye together. Dorsal pointed behind. First anal spine minute, third longest, as long as snout. Soft anal similar to soft dorsal. Pectorals half length of snout shorter than head. Ventrals, with the first ray produced, slightly shorter than pectorals. Caudal rounded.
Number of spines and rays in the dorsal fin: IX, 13; number of spines and rays in the anal fin: III, 12; number of rays in the pectoral fin: ii, 12; number of spines and rays in the ventral fin: I, 5; number of scale rows along the lateral line: 27-29; number of horizontal scale rows usually counted from origin of the dorsal fin to the lateral line and from anal origin to the lateral line: 3+1+10.

Protogynous, external fertilization, nonguarders, open water/substratum egg scatterers. Pelagic spawner. Females migrate to spawning sites, larger females travel long distances to downcurrent areas than smaller ones to protect the eggs from becoming prey to larger reef fishes. Spawning sites are chosen by the females irregardless of the males occupying them. Females spawn in more than one spawning site, each site occupied by more than one male, which are either territorial or non-territorial. After spawning, they return individually to their home ranges without passing through other spawning site. Some females on the other hand change sex after spawning. As males, they begin to establish territories in the spawning sites, even to those they visited before the sex change.

Remarks: Values in above description denote proportions.

Synonym (s)
Halichoeres notopsis (Valenciennes, 1839)
(Junior synonym)
Halichoeres virescens Fourmanoir & Gueze, 1961
(Junior synonym)
Julis notopsis Valenciennes, 1839
(Junior synonym)
Halichoeres marginatus Ruppell, 1835
Halichoeres marginatus Day, 1878
Platyglossus marginatus Munro, 1955
Julis annularis Cuvier and Valenciennes, 1839
Julis annularis Bleeker, 1849
Julis marginatus Ruppell, 1852
Julis (Halichoeres) annularis Bleeker, 1853
Platyglossus marginatus Bleeker, 1862
Platyglossus marginatus Gunther, 1862
Platyglossus marginatus Klunzinger, 1871
Platyglossus marginatus Day, 1877
Platyglossus marginatus Gunther, 1909
Platyglossus marginatus Jordan and Seale, 1906
Halichoeres marginatus Fowler and Bean, 1928
Halichoeres marginatus Fowler, 1928
Halichoeres ianthinus Fourmanoir, 1955

Common Name (s)
• Two Eyed Wrasse (English)
• Splendid Rainbow Wrasse (English)
• Polmena Wrasse (English)
• Dusky Wrasse (English)
• Black Wrasse (English)
Economic Importance and Threats
(Aquarium, fisheries, Ornamental fish)

Habitat:  Reef Associated
Trophic Level:  Secondary Consumer
Prey:  Small invertebrates, fish eggs


• Lakshadweep, Minicoy Atoll (Lat: 8) (Long: 71) INDIA
• Lakshadweep (Lat: 11) (Long: 72.5) INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti Atoll (Lat: 10.55) (Long: 72.63) INDIA (Record: 01/1991-06/1992)
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Amini INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Andrott INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kalpeni INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA
• Lakshadweep INDIA
• Red Sea
• Kerala INDIA
• Lakshadweep, Agatti INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Bitra INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Chettalatt INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Kadamatt INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Kavaratti INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Kilttan INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Lakshadweep, Minicoy INDIA (Record: 11/1993-01/1997)
• Andaman and Nicobar Islands INDIA

Literature Source(s)
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  • UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre Available at - http://www.unep-wcmc.org/
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  • Rouphael, T; Turak, E and Jon, B Seagrasses and mangroves of Yemen's Red Sea 41-89
  • Ohman, M; Rajasuriya, A and Olafsson, E (1997) Reef fish assemblages in north western Sri Lanka: Distribution patterns and influences of fishing practises Enviornmental Biology of Fishes Kluwer Academic Publishers 49 45-61
  • Heemstra, E; Heemstra, P; Smale, M; Hoopers, T and Pelicier, D (2004) Preliminary checklist of coastal fishes from the Mauritian island of Rodrigues Journal of natural history Taylor and Francis 38(23-24) 3315 - 3350 Available at - taylorandfrancis.metapress.com/ index/
  • (1994) The effect of artificial reef installation on the biosocioeconomics of small scale fisheries in Ranong province, Thailand Bay of Bengal Programme Available at - NCL, Pune
  • Randall, JE and Smith, MM (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 Available at - ZOOR12400043414
  • Letourneur, Y; Chabanet, P; Durville, P; Taquet, M; Teissier, E; Parmentier, M; Quero, JC and Pothin, K (2004) An updated checklist of the marine fish fauna of Reunion Island, south-western Indian Ocean Cybium 28(3) 199-216
  • Froese, R and Pauly, D (2000) Fishbase 2000: Concepts, design and data sources ICLARM 344 pp Available at - http://www.fishbase.org
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2005) Community organization of coral reef fishes in the rubble sub-habitat of Kavaratti Atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin, India 47(1) 77-82 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Society for the Management of European Biodiversity Data (2009) World Register of Marine Species (WoRMS) Available at - http://www.marinespecies.org
  • Anand, PEV and Pillai, NGK (2003) Habitat distribution and species diversity of coral reef fishes in the reefslope of the Kavaratti atoll, Lakshadweep, India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 45(1) 88-98 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S and Kumaran, M (1980) Fishes of the Laccadive Archipelago The Nature Conservation and Aquatic Sciences Service, Trivandrum, Kerala 760 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Beaufort, LF (1940) The fishes of the Indo-Australian Archipelago A. J. Reprints agency, Karol Bagh, New Delhi 8 508 pp Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Bijukumar, A and Deepthi, GR (2009) Mean trophic index of fish fauna associated with trawl bycatch of Kerala, southwest coast of India Journal of the Marine Biological Association of India The Marine Biological Association of India, Cochin 51(2) 145 - 154 Available at - NIO, Goa
  • Jones, S. (1969) Catalogue of fishes from the Laccadive Archipelago in the reference collections of the Central Marine Fisheries Research Institute. Bulletin of Central Marine Research Institute CMFRI, Cochin 8 1-35 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/569/1/Bulletin_8.pdf
  • Murty, VS (1996) Marine ornamental fishes of India Proceedings of the Seminar on Fisheries - A Multibillion Dollar Industry, Madras CMFRI 23-34 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/7786/1/678-Mur.pdf
  • Murty, VS (2002) Marine ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep CMFRI Special Publication CMFRI 72 1-134 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/3536/1/Special_Publication_No_72.pdf
  • Murty, VS (2001) Ornamental fish resources of Lakshadweep Bulletins of the Geological Survey of India 56 103-111 Available at - http://eprints.cmfri.org.in/8574/1/Murty.pdf
  • Talwar, PK (1990) Fishes of Andaman and Nicobar Islands: A synoptic survey Journal of the Andaman Science Association Andaman Science Association, Port Blair 6(2) 71-102 Available at - NIO,Goa

Page last updated on:2011-08-09

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