Cheilinus chlorourus

Scientific name Cheilinus chlorourus
Descriptor Bloch
Year of description 1791
IUCN category (World) LC
Family Labridae
Genus Cheilinus
Cheilinus chlorourus Cheilinus chlorourus


Cheilinus chlorourus is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?

Genus Cheilinus

These kinds of fish belong to the Labridae family, more commonly called wrasses. In this family, a phylogenetic study describes two subgroups of the Cheilinini tribe, in which genus Cheilinus is included. This genus is close to Doratonotus, Epibulus, Oxycheilinus and Wetmorella genera. Although most of the species of genus Oxycheilinus were originally classified into the Cheilinus genus, in 2020, only 7 species are officially described as Cheilinus members.

All of these 7 species are predators in coral reefs. The larger species, including humphead wrasses, are on the highest levels of the food chain. These diurnal and territorial fish are easily caught by fishermen and hunters. All species are in danger of extinction.

Their body is moderately compressed, with a length equal or superior to the head. The colored patterns on their bodies often includes distinct vertical bars or marbling, or light sparse spots. Beside the wrasse family, these fishes are regularly confused with parrot fishes, such as Calotomus, Cetoscarus or Scarus fish.

These oviparous fishes form distinct pairs for reproduction. In addition, Cheilinus wrasses are protogynous, meaning that they are born female and then some of them turn into male. While growing, juveniles change color and sometimes patterns too.


  • Average size
    40 cm
  • Maximum size
    45 cm
  • Pattern
  • Average size
    40 cm
  • Maximum size
    45 cm
  • Pattern

How to recognize Cheilinus chlorourus ?

Cheilinus chlorourus measures between 40 and 45 cm. This fish is multicolore with a predominantly rouge, bleu, vert, marron and beige body. The also has marron and beige mottling.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Way of living

Cheilinus chlorourus is a fish solitary naturally found near the bottom. This species is carnivorous .

Cheilinus chlorourus is a territorial animal that does not tolerate any incursions into its living area. It is particularly virulent against other territorial species and it can provoke heated fights. Relationships between conspecifics are also hectic, with each seeking to secure its place.


  • Reproduction

Cheilinus chlorourus is a fish ovipare.

Harmless species

This species does not represent any particular threats to humans when encountered in its natural environment.

Where to find it?

Where to see this species?

What is its habitat?

Natural environment characteristics

  • Temperature
    25 - 29 °C
  • Depth
    1 - 30 m

Biotope presentation

Cheilinus chlorourus is most often found at a depth between 1m and 30m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope

To go further

Species of the same family

To read on the web

Sources & Contributions

Participation & Validation

The Fishipedia team and specialist contributors are committed to providing high-quality content. However, although the information comes from scientific sources or testimonials from specialists, the cards may contain inaccuracies.

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon


Translation done with the valuable contribution of our translators, who make this information available to a wider audience. We sincerely thank them for their commitment.

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Where to see this species?

Scientific partners

Species of the same family

Same genus

Species of the same biotope

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