Shorefishes of the Greater Caribbean online information system

Español  Contact

Species: Halichoeres caudalis, Painted Wrasse

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

IP - white +/- 2 dark stripes, between them yellow/orange
black spot immediately behind eye
TP - bluey pink, head - blue stripes, body & fins - blue stripes & rows blue spots
juv - like IP + black spot rear base D

Halichoeres caudalis (Poey, 1860)

Painted Wrasse

Elongate, compressed; mouth protrusible, opens at front, thick lips; rear of top jawbone not visible on cheek; toothed grinding plates in throat; enlarged canine teeth at front of both jaws (1 pair above, 2 pairs below), a canine at rear of top jaws; gill rakers 16-19; gill membranes fused under throat; dorsal fin IX, 10, not obviously notched between spiny and soft parts; anal fin III, 12; lateral line unbroken, but abruptly bent down under rear of dorsal fin, its tubes branched, except those on tail base, with 26-29 pored scales.

Juvenile: like the IP, plus a black spot at the rear of the dorsal fin. Initial phase: whitish, with two dusky stripes along upper and lower body separated by a pale yellowish to orangish area; a black spot immediately behind eye. Terminal phase: head and body pinkish white to bluey-green above; 2 blue lines along snout to eye, a blue line from corner of mouth to upper operculum; a black spot partly bordered by blue immediately behind eye; several rows of blue spots on scales along body; dorsal fin with 2 rows of blue spots, anal fin with a blue stripe; tail fin with 4 central blue stripes.

Reaches 20 cm.

Rubble and sand bottoms around deep seaward reefs.

Depth range: 5-100 m.

N Carolina to E Venezuela, also in Brazil.

High Resolution Map Download

Species Data Create Report Export as Word File Export as Excel File
  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom
  • Rocks
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
  • Reef and soft bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Data
  • Bony fishes
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Sessile worms
Egg Type
  • Data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • All species
  • Greater Caribbean non-endemic
  • West Atlantic Endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Also in Brazil
  • Continent
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Extends North of GC
  • Extends South of GC
  • GC non-endemic
  • Island (s)
  • All species
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (0-10N, Costa Rica / Venezuela)
  • Subtropical (23-35N, Florida / Carolinas / Bermuda)
  • Tropical (10-23N, Nicaragua / Cuba)
IUCN Red List
  • Least concern
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 20
Depth Range Min
  • 5
Depth Range Max
  • 100