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Species: Halichoeres aestuaricola, Mangrove wrasse

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TP: grey-green, head reddish
IP: grey + 2 black spots - D & C base

Halichoeres aestuaricola Bussing, 1972

Mangrove wrasse

Moderately elongate, compressed; enlarged canine teeth at front of both jaws (1 pair above, 2 pairs below), a canine at rear of top jaws; dorsal fin IX (rarely VIII), 11; anal rays III, 11 or 12; pectoral rays 12-14; lateral line unbroken, but abruptly bent down under rear of dorsal fin, its tubes branched, except those on tail base; lateral line with 27-28 pored scales.

IP: mauve greyish with yellowish suffusion on middle of side; dorsal and anal fins yellowish; a black spot on middle of dorsal fin and on upper base of caudal fin; TP: grey-brown tinted with mauve; head blue grey to pinkish; most of fins yellowish, base of dorsal fin and lower one-fourth of caudal fin dusky mauve.

Size: grows to at least 30 cm.

Inhabits shallow mangrove areas and tidal creeks.

Depth: 0-5 m.

Central eastern Gulf of California to Ecuador.

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  • Freshwater
  • Non Marine
  • Brackish
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Estuary
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
  • Mud
  • Mangrove
  • Soft bottom only
  • Freshwater
  • Sand & gravel
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
Egg Type
  • No data
  • Pelagic
  • Pelagic larva
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • All species
  • East Pacific endemic
Regional Endemism
  • All species
  • 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
  • Continent only
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Continental TEP endemic
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
IUCN Red List
  • Data deficient
  • Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 22
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 5