Shorefishes of the Eastern Pacific online information system

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Species: Stethojulis bandanensis, Red-shouldered wrasse

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IP - brown, yellow cheek, red blotch over pectoral
TP - blue-grey + 4 blue lines + red blotch over pectoral



Stethojulis bandanensis (Bleeker, 1851)

Red Shoulder Wrasse

Body elongate fusiform; head pointed; mouth small, opens at front, ends under nostrils; teeth conical, uniform in size, no enlarged canines; dorsal fin IX, 11; anal rays III, 11; pectoral rays 14-15; lateral line unbroken, but abruptly bent under rear of dorsal fin; scales large, 25 on lateral line; scales on chest not smaller than others on body head scaleless.

IP: grey brown with a thin white stripe along head below eye, continuing along most of body; a yellow patch behind mouth & below eye; a red blotch immediately above base of pectoral fin; numerous small white spots on upper half of side; lower body whitish, with front half of scales grey; a pair of small, black and white ocelli on center of tail base;TP: blue-green to yellow brown on upper half, bluish to whitish below; a bright red patch above pectoral fin base; 4 thin blue stripes on head, continuing onto body; uppermost and lowermost stripes continue along base of dorsal fin and from pectoral base back to tail fin, respectively, 2 central stripes end above and a little behind pectoral base.

Size: grows to 15 cm.

Habitat: associated with rocky and coral reefs.

Depth: 0-15 m.

Widespread in the tropical Pacific Ocean from Australia to southern Japan and eastward; scattered eastern Pacific locations - the SW and SE Gulf of California, Costa Rica, western Panama, Isla del Coco, Malpelo, Clipperton and the Galapagos, Gorgona Island in Colombia.

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  • Marine
  • Marine Only
  • Inshore Only
  • Inshore
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Reef associated (reef + edges-water column & soft bottom)
  • Rocks
  • Reef only
  • Corals
  • Reef (rock/coral/oyster)
FishBase Habitat
  • Reef Associated
Feeding Group
  • Carnivore
  • Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • Data
  • Sea-stars/cucumbers/urchins
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Data
  • Pelagic
Global Endemism
  • "Transpacific" (East + Central &/or West Pacific)
  • Indo-Pacific only (Indian + Pacific Oceans)
  • All species
  • All Pacific (West + Central + East)
  • TEP non-endemic
Regional Endemism
  • Eastern Pacific non-endemic
  • Continent
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) non-endemic
  • All species
  • 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
  • Listed
  • Least concern
  • Not listed
Depth Range Min
  • 0
Depth Range Max
  • 15
Length Max
  • 15