Ornate wrasse (thalassoma pavo)
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Common name Ornate wrasse
Scientific name Thalassoma pavo
Class Osteichthyes
Order Perciformes
Family Labridae
Distribution Mediterranean (only in the southern warmer regions), the Eastern Atlantic Ocean from Portugal to the Congo.
Habitat rocky substrates and amidst meadows of sea grasses from a metre below the surface to depths of approx. 150 m.
Dimensions Can grow to a length of 35 cm.
Characteristicts Crescent-shaped tail fin with stretched out pointed fins; light blue streaks on the head; a vertical blue band behind the pectoral fins.

Ornate wrasse have an elongated streamlined body, a pointed oval head, short nose and a small protractile mouth with strong lips and protruding pointed front teeth. The dorsal fin is extended and the tail fin is crescent-shaped (juveniles have a truncated tail). Females are a brownish green with a dark line along each scale and five vertical bluish bands. The head is streaked with light blue and the fins have light blue, pink and brown longitudinal streaks. Males have dark red heads streaked with light blue. There is a blue vertical band, bordered in red, just behind the pectoral fins which extends from the dorsal to the abdomen. The fins are streaked with light blue, black and red.

The species is thermophile and a protogynous hermaphrodite. Reproduction takes place between June and July. The eggs are pelagic and therefore are not cared for by the adults. The ornate wrasse feeds on molluscs and crustaceans.