Wrasse fish can range in size from just a few centimeters to over two meters in length. They have elongated bodies and typically have a laterally compressed shape, which allows them to swim quickly and maneuver easily through the water. Most species have a single dorsal fin and a large, protruding lower jaw.
In addition to their colorful appearance, many wrasse species also have the ability to change sex, with some individuals switching from male to female as they mature.
These fish are found in a wide range of marine environments, including shallow coral reefs, rocky shores, and deep offshore waters. They are common in many parts of the world, including the Mediterranean Sea, the Red Sea, the Caribbean, and the Pacific and Indian Oceans.
Some species are found in relatively shallow waters, while others are found at depths of several hundred meters.
Wrasse are primarily carnivorous, feeding on a variety of small invertebrates and fish. They are opportunistic feeders and will eat whatever prey is available, including crustaceans, mollusks, and other small fish.
In addition to their sharp teeth, many wrasse species also have the ability to crush hard-shelled prey using their powerful jaws.
Wrasse fish are generally solitary animals, but some species form small schools or aggregations. They are active swimmers and are known for their acrobatic displays, which can include jumping out of the water and flipping in the air.
In addition to their vibrant colors, wrasse fish use a variety of vocalizations and body language to communicate with each other and to defend their territories.
The wrasse family (Labridae) contains over 600 species in more than 80 genera. Many of these species are brightly colored and have striking patterns, which can make them popular with aquarium enthusiasts.
Some of the most well-known species include the fairy wrasse, the rainbow wrasse, and the yellowtail wrasse.