ballan wrasse

Scientific name Labrus bergylta
Descriptor Ascanius
Year of description 1767
IUCN category LC
Family Labridae
Genus Labrus
Labrus bergylta Labrus bergylta


Labrus bergylta, commonly known as ballan wrasse, is a salt water fish.

Who is it?


  • Average size
    50 cm
  • Maximum size
    65 cm
  • Longevity
    29 year
  • Pattern
  • Average size
    50 cm
  • Maximum size
    65 cm
  • Longevity
    29 year
  • Pattern

How to recognize the ballan wrasse ?

The ballan wrasse measures around 50 cm. The dominant males can however reach 65 cm. This fish is multicolore with a predominantly rouge, vert, orange and marron body. The also has ponctuations.

Sexual dimorphism

The adult male is bigger than the female.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Male sociability
  • Female sociability
    living in small groups
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The ballan wrasse is a fish solitary naturally found near the rocks. This species is carnivorous .

This species is territorial and does not appreciate the presence of intruders nearby, especially animals with similar behavior. However, the ballan wrasse has little concern for non-territorial animals.


  • Reproduction
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert
  • Polygamy

The ballan wrasse is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert. In this species, the dominant males are polygamous and reproduce each season with several females.

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

  • Depth
    2 - 30 m

Biotope presentation

The ballan wrasse is most often found at a depth between 2m 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.

Benoit Chartrer

Benoit Chartrer


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

Demographic Variation between Colour Patterns in a Temperate Protogynous Hermaphrodite, the Ballan Wrasse Labrus bergylta - David Villegas-Rıos - Alexandre Alonso-Fernandez - Marina Fabeiro - Rafael Banon - Fran Saborido-Rey - PLOS One - 0.

s the ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) two species? Genetic analysis reveals within-species divergence associated with plain and spotted morphotype frequencies - María QUINTELA - Elin Annie DANIELSEN - Lua LOPEZ - Rodolfo BARREIRO - Terje SVÅSAND - Halvor KNUTSEN - Anne Berit SKIFTESVIK - Kevin A. GLOVER - Integrative Zoology - 2016.

Phylogeographic structure of a protogynous hermaphrodite species, the ballan wrasse Labrus bergylta, in Ireland, Scotland, and Norway, using mitochondrial DNA sequence data - J. D’Arcy - L. Mirimin - R. FitzGerald - ICES Journal of Marine Science - 2013.

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Template and content © Fishipedia - Unauthorized reproduction without prior request - ISSN 2270-7247 - Last modification 10/11/2023

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Species of the same biotope

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