sixbar wrasse

Scientific name Thalassoma hardwicke
Descriptor Bennett
Year of description 1830
IUCN category (World) LC
Family Labridae
Genus Thalassoma
Thalassoma hardwicke Thalassoma hardwicke


Thalassoma hardwicke, commonly known as sixbar wrasse, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Type
  • Average size
    15 cm
  • Maximum size
    20 cm
  • Longevity
    12 year
  • Type
  • Average size
    15 cm
  • Maximum size
    20 cm
  • Longevity
    12 year

How to recognize the sixbar wrasse ?

The sixbar wrasse measures around 15 cm. The dominant males can however reach 20 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
    living in a group or alone
  • territorial
  • Way of living

The sixbar wrasse is a fish living in a group or alone naturally found near the bottom. This species is omnivorous with carnivorous tendency .

The sixbar wrasse 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
    ovipare qui pond en eau libre
  • Hermaphrodite

The sixbar wrasse is a fish ovipare qui pond en eau libre. 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
    18 - 22 °C
  • Depth
    0 - 15 m
  • Flow
    Strong and Medium

Biotope presentation

The sixbar wrasse is most often found at a depth between 0m and 15m. 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

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

Evolution of coral reef fishThalassomaspp. (Labridae). 1. Molecularphylogeny and biogeography - G. Bernardi - G. Bucciarelli - D. Costagliola - R. Robertson - J. B. Heiser - Marine Biology - 2003.

Atypical Structure of Olfactory Organ in Moon Wrasse Thalassoma lunare and Sixbar Wrasse T. hardwicke (Labridae) - N. I. Pashchenko - A. O. Kasumyan - L. T. K. Oanh - Springer Nature - 2021.

Social Control of Sex Change in the Bluehead Wrasse, Thalassoma bifasciatum (Pisces: Labridae) - R. R. Warner - S. E. Swearer - Department of Biological Sciences and Marine Science Institute - 1991.

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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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