Species Index

Thalassoma lunare
(Linnaeus, 1758)

Common Name: Moon Wrasse

Distribution: Abundant throughout the Solitary Islands Marine Park. Distributed throughout the Indo-Pacific region: from the Red Sea and East Africa to the Line Islands, north to southern Japan, south to Lord Howe Island and northern New Zealand. In Australia recorded from Perth in Western Australia, across the tropical north to the Coral Sea and Great Barrier Reef in Queensland, south to southern New South Wales, and including Lord Howe and Norfolk Islands.

Ecological Notes: Frequents lagoon and coastal reefs and protected seaward reefs, enters estuaries. Depth 1 – 20 m.

Additional Notes: Juveniles with green back, blue underside and black spots on middle of dorsal fin and tail base. Adults with blue head and green body, yellow centre on tail. Feeds on small crustaceans, and commonly follows divers. One of the more common wrasses in Solitary Islands Marine Park, frequently seen with Thalassoma lutescens, and distinguished from that species by the pectoral fin which has a purple centre. Juvenile approximately 50 mm long on lower photograph. Grows to 45 cm. 

References: R. Stuart-Smith, G. Edgar, A. Green, I. Shaw, Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland Publishers, 2015. p.337.

Atlas of Living Australia website at Accessed 10/07/18.

FishBase. Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2018. World Wide Web electronic publication. Accessed 10/07/18.