rainbow wrasse (coris julis)
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Common name rainbow wrasse
Scientific name Coris julis
Class Osteichthyes
Order Perciformes
Family Labridae
Distribution The Mediterranean, the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Scandinavia to the Canary Isles.
Habitat rocky substrates and meadows of Posidonia oceanica, from a few metres beneath the surface up to depths of 120 metres.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 25 cm.
Characteristicts Pointed nose; longitudinal bands; a blue spot on the operculum; the first rays of the dorsal fin are longer than the others.

Rainbow wrasse have long, moderately compressed streamlined bodies, a pointed nose and a small mouth. The first spiny rays of the dorsal fin are longer than the others. Females have brown or red backs (individuals living at greater depths tend to be darker) and white bellies. A yellow or brown stripe with a white stripe above and below decorates the flanks. The fins are either yellow or orange. Males have either green, blue or brown backs with white or yellow bellies. A sinuous red or orange stripe decorates the flanks, often with blue edging. The first 3 elongated dorsal rays have either an orange or red and black spot. Both sexes have a blue spot on the operculum.

The rainbow wrasse is a protogynous hermaphrodite and feeds on molluscs, worms and crustaceans.