Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

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Species: Clepticus parrae, Creole wrasse

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

oval, elongate; C lunate
purplish blue, snout black
juv: reddish purple; D front black spot



Clepticus parrae (Bloch & Schneider, 1801)

Creole wrasse

Body an elongate oval; snout rounded; mouth small and oblique, highly protrusible; rear of top jawbone not visible on cheek; toothed grinding plates in throat; no canine tooth at rear of top jaw, small weak canines at front of both jaws; edge of preopercle serrated; gill rakers 26-28; gill membranes fused under throat; dorsal fin XII, 10, spines not filamentous, not obviously notched between spiny and soft parts; anal fin III, 12; tail deeply concave; lateral line unbroken, smoothly arched; scales large, 32 with pores on lateral line.

Juvenile: purplish with a series of white & black blotches in a row along upper back; a black blotch at front of dorsal fin. Adult: head, body and fins violet to purple; snout black. Courting males with head, body, pectorals, pelvics and front ½ of dorsal fin blackish; rear ½ of body, anal, and tail base with an orange wash; tail fin light purple.

Reaches 30 cm.

Forms schools that feed on plankton in mid-water at the outer edges of reefs.

Depth range: 0-145 m.

Bermuda to the S Caribbean. Its brazilian sister species is C. brasiliensis.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom + water column
  • Bottom
  • Near Bottom
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Reef only
  • Water column
  • Rocks
  • Corals
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Planktivore
  • Data
  • Pelagic jellyfish/ctenophores
  • Data
  • Zooplankton
  • Pelagic fish eggs
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species.
  • Greater Caribbean endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • All species..
  • Continent
  • GC endemic
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 30
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 145