Abundant throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from Sri Lanka to Ducie Island, north to southern Japan and the Hawaiian Islands, south to Australia, the Kermadec Islands and Rapa. In Australia recorded from south west Western Australia north to around Exmouth and from the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to southern New South Wales.
Frequents clear outer lagoons and seaward reefs and exposed areas, over open sand and rubble as well as in dense coral growth. Depth 1 - 30 m.
Predominantly yellow colouration, males with darker blue band in midsection. Some growth phases similar to the Moon Wrasse, Thalassoma lunare, but this species most easily distinguished by the blue posterior edge to the pectoral fin as opposed to an enclosed blue elipse on T. lunare. Small juveniles with olive green back, black stripe along midsection and pale belly. Feeds mainly on shelled benthic invertebrates, also polychaete worms and fish eggs. Middle photograph shows feeding frenzy on damsel eggs attached to the substrate, a common seasonal occurrence. Adult male in lower photograph. One of the more common wrasses in the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Grows to 30 cm.
R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.338.
Atlas of Living Australia website at https://bie.ala.org.au/search?q=thalassoma+lutescens. Accessed 10/07/18.
FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. https://fishbase.ca/summary/thalassoma-lutescens.html. Accessed 10/07/18.