moon wrasse

Scientific name Thalassoma lunare
Descriptor Linnaeus
Year of description 1758
IUCN category LC
Family Labridae
Genus Thalassoma
Thalassoma lunare Thalassoma lunare


Thalassoma lunare, commonly known as moon wrasse, is a salt water fish.

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Who is it?


  • Average size
    30 cm
  • Maximum size
    45 cm
  • Longevity
    14 year
  • Average size
    30 cm
  • Maximum size
    45 cm
  • Longevity
    14 year

How to recognize the moon wrasse ?

The moon wrasse measures around 30 cm. The dominant males can however reach 45 cm. This fish is multicolore with a predominantly bleu and vert body.

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 moon wrasse is a fish solitary naturally found near the bottom. This species is carnivorous .

The moon 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 moon 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
    24 - 28 °C
  • Depth
    1 - 20 m
  • Flow
    Medium and Slow

Biotope presentation

The moon wrasse is most often found at a depth between 1m and 20m. 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

Théo Guillaume

Théo Guillaume

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.

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.

Geographic variation in size at age of the coral reef fish, Thalassoma lunare (family: Labridae) : a contribution to life history theory. PhD thesis - Ackerman, J. L. - James Cook University - 2004.

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Species of the same biotope

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