mediterranean rainbow wrasse

Scientific name Coris julis
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1758
IUCN category LC
Family Labridae
Genus Coris
Coris julis Coris julis


Coris julis, commonly known as mediterranean rainbow wrasse, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    25 cm
  • Maximum size
    30 cm
  • Shape
  • Average size
    25 cm
  • Maximum size
    30 cm
  • Shape

How to recognize the mediterranean rainbow wrasse ?

The mediterranean rainbow wrasse measures around 25 cm. The dominant males can however reach 30 cm. This fish is multicolore with a predominantly vert and orange body.

Sexual dimorphism

The adult male is bigger than the female.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
    omnivorous with carnivorous tendency
  • Sociability
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The mediterranean rainbow wrasse is a fish solitary naturally found near the bottom. This species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency .

Although slightly territorial, the mediterranean rainbow wrasse is a rather peaceful animal that generally behaves in a peaceful manner with other species. It should be noted that it is sometimes less tolerant with its conspecifics. In a constant quest for dominance, the dominant males of this species cannot stand each other. The battle between two individuals can be intense and violent. It will result in the submission and sometimes even death of one of the protagonists.


  • Reproduction
    dont le mode de reproduction est encore inconnu
  • Hermaphrodite

The mediterranean rainbow wrasse is a fish dont le mode de reproduction est encore inconnu. always born female. Growing up, individuals will change sex to become male, this is called successive hermaphroditism of the protogynous type.

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
    12 - 26 °C
  • Depth
    1 - 120 m
  • Flow
    Medium, Slow and Stagnant

Biotope presentation

The mediterranean rainbow wrasse is most often found at a depth between 1m and 120m. However, it is not impossible to find this species at other depths.

Species of the same biotope


Not recommended

We do not recommend keeping this species in an aquarium. It has unpredictable needs which, if not met, generate significant stress, potentially leading to a shorter life expectancy, an interruption of its growth or the development of pathogens.

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.

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer

Patrick Chartrer

Patrick Chartrer

Garnier Julie

Garnier Julie

Silvia Gomez

Silvia Gomez

Adrien Falzon

Adrien Falzon

Théo Guillaume

Théo Guillaume


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.

Bibliographic references

The Use of Histological Techniques to Study the Reproductive Biology of the Hermaphroditic Mediterranean Fishes Coris julis, Serranus scriba, and Diplodus annularis - Alexandre Alonso-Fernandez - Josep Alós - Amalia Grau - Rosario Domínguez-Petit - Fran Saborido-Rey - Marine and Coastal Fisheries Dynamics Management and Ecosystem Science - 2011.

Geographical and morphological variation within and between colour phases in Coris julis (L. 1758), a protogynous marine fish - CARMELO FRUCIANO - CONCETTA TIGANO - VENERA FERRITO - THE LINNEAN SOCIETY - 2011.

Spacial distribution patterns of Coris julis and Thalassoma pavo (Pisces, Labridae) along the south-eastern Apulian coast (SE Italy) - Paolo Guidetti - Paolo D'Ambrosio - Editoria Scientifica Elettronica - 2004.

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Species of the same biotope

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