brown wrasse

Scientific name Labrus merula
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1758
IUCN category LC
Family Labridae
Genus Labrus
Labrus merula Labrus merula


Labrus merula, commonly known as brown wrasse, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    40 cm
  • Maximum size
    45 cm
  • Longevity
    20 year
  • Pattern
  • Average size
    40 cm
  • Maximum size
    45 cm
  • Longevity
    20 year
  • Pattern

How to recognize the brown wrasse ?

The brown wrasse measures around 40 cm. The dominant males can however reach 45 cm. This fish is unicolore with a predominantly bleu, vert and beige body. The also has bleu ponctuations.

Sexual dimorphism

The adult male is bigger than the female.

Behaviour & Life cycle

  • diet
  • Male sociability
  • Female sociability
    living in a group or alone
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The brown 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 brown wrasse has little concern for non-territorial animals. 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
    ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert

The brown wrasse is a fish ovipare qui pond sur substrat découvert.

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
    1 - 50 m

Biotope presentation

The brown wrasse is most often found at a depth between 1m and 50m. 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

Régime alimentaire de Labrus merula (Labridae) des côtes nord de Tunisie - Saoussen BEN SLAMA - Domia MENIF - Oum Kalthoum BEN HASSINE - Cybium - 2007.

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Species of the same family

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Species of the same biotope

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