Species: Novaculichthys taeniourus, Rock-mover wrasse
Novaculichthys taeniourus (Lacepède, 1801)
Body elongate, oblong, very compressed; forehead profile angular, without fleshy keel; eye nearer mouth than head profile; 2 pairs of stout canines at front of upper and lower jaws, no canines at rear of jaws; preopercular margin free; dorsal fin IX, 12, first two dorsal spines greatly prolonged in juveniles; anal rays III, 13; pectoral rays 13; lateral line in 2 parts, 19-20 pored scales on front upper portion + 5-6 on base of tail; head scaleless except for a few scales below & sometimes behind eye.
Adults dark greenish brown with white spot on each scale; head grey; tail black with white base; dorsal and anal fins black, with wiggly whitish lines; IP with brown lines radiating from eye & with pink belly; TP without pink belly, without lines radiating from eye, with a yellow spot at upper base of pectoral fin. Juveniles mottled and banded, either green, reddish or brown, and spotted with white.
Size: grows to 30 cm.
Habitat: rubble and sand bottoms. Can overturn large rocks with its powerful jaws when searching for invertebrate prey; the young mimic drifting masses of algae.
Depth: 3-30 m.
Widespread in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Americas; central Gulf of California to Colombia, plus the Revillagigedos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo and the Galapagos.
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- Marine Only
- Inshore Only
- Water Column Position
- Bottom only
- Reef and soft bottom
- Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
- Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
- Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
- Sand & gravel
- FishBase Habitat
- Reef Associated
- Feeding Group
- Mobile benthic worms
- Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
- Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
- Egg Type
- Pelagic larva
- Global Endemism
- Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
- All Pacific (West + Central + East)
- "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
- TEP non-endemic
- All species
- Regional Endemism
- Island (s)
- Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
- Eastern Pacific non-endemic
- Continent + Island (s)
- All species
- Climate Zone
- Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
- Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
- Northern Tropical (Mexican Province to Nicaragua + Revillagigedos)
- IUCN Red List
- Least concern
- Not listed
- Length Max
- Depth Range Min
- Depth Range Max