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Species: Halichoeres inornatus, Cape wrasse

All Families:   All Genera:   All Species:

TP: pink + blue stripes, D & C black edges
IP like pale TP, + pale bars, D & C no black edges
both jaws - 1pr front canines, no rear canines
side teeth conical

Halichoeres inornatus (Gilbert, 1890)

Cape Wrasse

Body elongate (body depth 21.2-21.7% of SL), very compressed; snout long, pointed; mouth small, opens at front, slightly oblique; 1 pair of large canine teeth at front of both jaws; sides of jaws with small conical to canine teeth; no canine tooth at rear of either jaw; rear half of top lip with an upper fleshy flap; 6+10 gill rakers; dorsal fin IX, 12, spines strong, 1st spine shortest, length of spines and rays gradually increasing to rear; anal fin III, 12; pectoral fin 13 (top ray rudimentary); tail slightly rounded; scales large, 27 pored scales on lateral line; head scaleless except for small patch of scales on nape just before dorsal fin; scales on chest much smaller than body scales; lateral line complete, bends down abruptly under soft dorsal fin to straight part of line on base of tail.

Terminal phase: salmon pink to orange with bright blue stripes – 1 along midside, a broken stripe along lower side, one along center top of head, 3 on sides of head (1 behind top of eye to upper shoulder; 1 from rear of top jaw to under lower edge of eye to middle of edge of operculum, with a break under eye, 1 along lower cheek); light pinkish yellow stripes border top of blue stripes on head and above and below blue stripes on side of body; dorsal fin with an orange base, a central blue stripe and a broad black outer edge; tail fin orange, with 3 thin blue bars, a black rear edge, that color extending forwards on the top and bottom edges of the fin; anal fin orange, with a blue central stripe. Initial phase: colors similar to those of TP, but paler; blue stripes paler; yellow stripes more intense; upper back with 5 pale bars; no black edges on dorsal and tail fins. Juvenile: similar to IP, but darker back and a black spot on the middle of the dorsal fin.

Reaches 19 cm.

Lives on sand and rubble bottoms.

Depth: 50-150 m.

The tip of Baja California and Cocos, Malpelo and Galapagos Islands.

Note: Halichoeres raisneri & Pseudojuloides inornatus are synonyms.

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  • Marine Only
  • Marine
  • Inshore
  • Inshore Only
Water Column Position
  • Bottom only
  • Bottom
  • Sand & gravel
  • Soft bottom only
  • Soft bottom (mud/sand/gravel/beach/estuary/mangrove/seagrass)
FishBase Habitat
  • Demersal
Feeding Group
  • No Data
  • Carnivore
  • Mobile benthic gastropods/bivalves
  • Mobile benthic crustacea (shrimps/crabs)
  • No Data
  • Mobile benthic worms
Egg Type
  • Pelagic larva
  • Pelagic
  • No data
Global Endemism
  • Tropical Eastern Pacific (TEP) endemic
  • East Pacific endemic
  • All species
Regional Endemism
  • Island (s)
  • Continent + Island (s)
  • All species
  • TEP endemic
  • Continent
  • Resident
Climate Zone
  • Equatorial (Costa Rica to Ecuador + Galapagos, Clipperton, Cocos, Malpelo)
  • Northern Subtropical (Cortez Province + Sinaloan Gap)
IUCN Red List
  • Not evaluated / Listed
  • Not listed
Length Max
  • 19
Depth Range Min
  • 50
Depth Range Max
  • 150