Species: Halichoeres melanotis, Golden wrasse
Halichoeres melanotis (Gilbert, 1890)
Elongate, compressed; 2 pairs of enlarged at front of upper and lower jaws; no large canine at rear of top jaw; dorsal fin IX, 12; anal rays III, 12; pectoral rays 12-13; lateral line unbroken, but abruptly bent down under rear of dorsal fin, its tubes branched, except those on tail base; lateral line with 27 pored scales.
IP: greenish to reddish brown on upper half, sometimes with 5-6 broad bars on upper half; a prominent black "ear" spot on upper edge of gill cover and blackish blotch or spot at base of caudal fin; belly pink with oblique white bars at rear; chest below pectoral base white; TP: grey brown above, paler below; a black earspot at upper corner of operculum, blue spots and lines on sides of head, lower cheek purple; body scales with a blue spot on lower half of body, blue edge to each scale on upper half; juveniles bright yellow with broad black midlateral stripe and narrower black stripe along base of dorsal fin.
Maximum size to 15 cm.
Habitat: often seen in sand-rubble patches near rocky inshore reefs.
Depth: 5-40 m.
Central Baja and the central Gulf of California to Colombia; the Revillagigedos and Galapagos.
High Resolution Map Download
- Marine Only
- Inshore Only
- Water Column Position
- Bottom only
- Sand & gravel
- Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
- Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
- Soft bottom only
- FishBase Habitat
- Reef Associated
- Feeding Group
- No Data
- Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
- No Data
- Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
- Mobile benthic worms
- Egg Type
- Pelagic larva
- Global Endemism
- East Pacific endemic
- Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
- All species
- Regional Endemism
- Continent + Island (s)
- All species
- 3 provinces (Cortez + Mexican + Panamic) endemic
- TEP endemic
- Island (s)
- Climate Zone
- Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
- North Temperate (Californian Province &/or Northern Gulf of California)
- Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
- Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
- IUCN Red List
- Least concern
- Not listed
- Length Max
- Depth Range Min
- Depth Range Max