Stunning Photos of Different Types of Wrasse Fish

  • 01 of 50

    Sub-adult Black and White Wrasse (Coris flavovittata)

    Subadult Black and White Wrasse (Coris flavovittata)
    Keoki Stender

    Thinking about adding a Wrasse to your saltwater tank? See the Saltwater Aquarium Fish Compatibility Chart first.

    Wrasses are beautiful fish which seem to be quickly forgotten when stocking a saltwater aquarium. Here are outstanding photos, pictures, and images of Wrasses, some of which you will seldom see in an aquarium.

    The Black and White (or Yellowstripe) Wrasse (Coris flavovittata) is uncommon on reefs. Males are rare around the main Hawaiian Islands. Juveniles are black with several white and pink stripes. Females are pink with black and white stripes dorsally. The males are dirty blue with high first dorsal spines and dark blue and black spots on operculum (gill cover). This fish is endemic to Hawaii.

    While juvenile Black and White Wrasses do not fare well in aquariums, due to difficulty in getting them to eat tank-fed foods, the sub-adults and adults do quite well. They will attain a length of about 20 inches, so plan ahead with a larger tank size.

    Continue to 2 of 50 below.
  • 02 of 50

    Female Black and White Wrasse (Coris flavovittata)

    Female Black and White Wrasse (Coris flavovittata)
    Keoki Stender

    The Black and White (or Yellowstripe) Wrasse (Coris flavovittata) is uncommon on reefs. Males are rare around the main Hawaiian Islands. Juveniles are black with several white and pink stripes. Females are pink with black and white stripes dorsally. The males are dirty blue with high first dorsal spines and dark blue and black spots on operculum (gill cover). This fish is endemic to Hawaii.

    While juvenile Black and White Wrasses do not fare well in aquariums, due to difficulty in getting them to eat tank-fed foods, the sub-adults and adults do quite well. They will attain a length of about 20 inches, so plan ahead with a larger tank size.

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  • 03 of 50

    Juvenile Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)

    Juvenile Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)
    Keoki Stender

    The Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard) is fairly common on reefs. It's coloration changes greatly with age. This Wrasse attains a length of about 12 inches and can be found from Indonesia to southern Japan, Hawaii, and the Tuamotus.

    Tiny Yellowtail Coris juveniles typically do not fare well in captivity. It is not unusual for them to waste away and starve to death due to the lack of accepting food, and thus not taking in the high caloric diet they require to survive. It is best to obtain a sub-adult specimen of more than two inches in size, and one that is already eating well to help avoid problems with starvation.

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  • 04 of 50

    Sub-Adult Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)

    Sub-Adult Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)
    Keoki Stender

    The Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard) is fairly common on reefs. It's coloration changes greatly with age. This Wrasse attains a length of about 12 inches and can be found from Indonesia to southern Japan, Hawaii, and the Tuamotus.

    Tiny Yellowtail Coris juveniles typically do not fare well in captivity. It is not unusual for them to waste away and starve to death due to the lack of accepting food, and thus not taking in the high caloric diet they require to survive. It is best to obtain a sub-adult specimen of more than two inches in size, and one that is already eating well to help avoid problems with starvation.

    Continue to 5 of 50 below.
  • 05 of 50

    Female Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)

    Female Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)
    Keoki Stender

    The Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard) is fairly common on reefs. It's coloration changes greatly with age. This Wrasse attains a length of about 12 inches and can be found from Indonesia to southern Japan, Hawaii, and the Tuamotus.

    Tiny Yellowtail Coris juveniles typically do not fare well in captivity. It is not unusual for them to waste away and starve to death due to the lack of accepting food, and thus not taking in the high caloric diet they require to survive. It is best to obtain a sub-adult specimen of more than two inches in size, and one that is already eating well to help avoid problems with starvation.

    Continue to 6 of 50 below.
  • 06 of 50

    Male Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)

    Male Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard)
    Keoki Stender

    The Yellowtail Coris (Coris gaimard) is fairly common on reefs. It's coloration changes greatly with age. This Wrasse attains a length of about 12 inches and can be found from Indonesia to southern Japan, Hawaii, and the Tuamotus.

    Tiny Yellowtail Coris juveniles typically do not fare well in captivity. It is not unusual for them to waste away and starve to death due to the lack of accepting food, and thus not taking in the high caloric diet they require to survive. It is best to obtain a sub-adult specimen of more than two inches in size, and one that is already eating well to help avoid problems with starvation.

    Continue to 7 of 50 below.
  • 07 of 50

    Female Lined Coris (Coris ballieui)

    Female Lined Coris (Coris ballieui)
    Keoki Stender

    The Female Lined Coris (Coris ballieui) is endemic to Hawaii, is uncommon in deep water over rubble and sand and attains 12 inches in length.

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  • 08 of 50

    Male Lined Coris (Coris ballieui)

    Male Lined Coris (Coris ballieui)
    Keoki Stender

    The Male Lined Coris (Coris ballieui) is endemic to Hawaii, is uncommon in deep water over rubble and sand and attains 12 inches in length.

    Continue to 9 of 50 below.
  • 09 of 50

    Female Elegant Wrasse (Coris venusta)

    Female Elegant Wrasse (Coris venusta)
    Keoki Stender

    The Elegant Wrasse (Coris venusta) is endemic to Hawaii and is common found on sandy reefs. Its color varies with age. It has a dark blue spot on gill covers, edged with yellow with a round spot on posterior dorsal fin. It attains a length of eight inches.

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  • 10 of 50

    Male Elegant Wrasse (Coris venusta)

    Male Elegant Wrasse
    Keoki Stender

    The Elegant Wrasse (Coris venusta) is endemic to Hawaii and is common found on sandy reefs. Its color varies with age. It has a dark blue spot on gill covers, edged with yellow with a round spot on posterior dorsal fin. It attains a length of eight inches.

    It is shy at first, but once it gets used to being in an aquarium it becomes bolder and will take food out of your hand. The Elegant Wrasse likes to hide, so be sure to give it plenty of cover.

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  • 11 of 50

    Female Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus)

    Female Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus) is a non-aggressive species that is compatible with other fishes and is safe with corals but may be a threat to fan worms, small hermit crabs, snails, and ornamental shrimps.

    The Ornate Wrasse is locally common on reefs, especially neon green juveniles during summer months. The intensity of the neon green coloring decreases with age. It has two dark round spots on soft dorsal fin when young. This Wrasse attains six inches in length and is found in the waters of Hawaii and Central and Western Pacific.

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  • 12 of 50

    Male Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus)

    Male Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Ornate Wrasse (Halichoeres ornatissimus) is a non-aggressive species that is compatible with other fishes and is safe with corals but may be a threat to fan worms, small hermit crabs, snails, and ornamental shrimps.

    The Ornate Wrasse is locally common on reefs, especially neon green juveniles during summer months. The intensity of the neon green coloring decreases with age. It has two dark round spots on soft dorsal fin when young. This Wrasse attains six inches in length and is found in the waters of Hawaii and Central and Western Pacific.

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  • 13 of 50

    Fivestripe Wrasse (Thalassoma quinquevittatum)

    Fivestripe Wrasse (Thalassoma quinquevittatum)
    Keoki Stender

    The Fivestripe Wrasse (Thalassoma quinquevittatum) in Hawaii is extremely rare in shallow water exposed to surge. It attains a length of five inches and is found only in Hawaii, Ryukyus, and the Indo-Pacific areas.

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  • 14 of 50

    Male Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma trilobatum)

    Male Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma trilobatum)
    Keoki Stender

    The Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma trilobatum) is fairly common in shallow water in Hawaii, Ryukyus, and the Indo-Pacific.

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  • 15 of 50

    Female Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma trilobatum)

    Female Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma trilobatum)
    Keoki Stender

    The Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma trilobatum) is fairly common in shallow water in Hawaii, Ryukyus, and the Indo-Pacific. The female Christmas Wrasse (Thalassoma trilobatum) is nearly identical to the Surge wrasse with a nearly oval red-brown mark ahead of the eye. It attains a length of 12 inches.

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  • 16 of 50

    Female Surge Wrasse (Thalassoma purpureum)

    Female Surge Wrasse (Thalassoma purpureum)
    Keoki Stender

    The Surge Wrasse (Thalassoma purpureum) is uncommon in shallow water exposed to wave action. The female of this species is nearly identical to the Christmas wrasse and has only reddish-brown spots ahead of the eye. It attains 17 inches in length and can be found in Hawaii, Southern Japan, and the Indo-Pacific.

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  • 17 of 50

    Male Surge Wrasse (Thalassoma purpureum)

    Male Surge Wrasse (Thalassoma purpureum)
    Keoki Stender

    The Surge Wrasse (Thalassoma purpureum) is uncommon in shallow water exposed to wave action. The female of this species is nearly identical to the Christmas wrasse and has only reddish-brown spots ahead of the eye. It attains 17 inches in length and can be found in Hawaii, Southern Japan, and the Indo-Pacific.

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  • 18 of 50

    Female Saddle Wrasse (Thalassoma duperrey)

    Female Saddle Wrasse
    Keoki Stender

    The Saddle Wrasse (Thalassoma duperrey) is endemic to Hawaii and is the state's most common reef fish. It attains a length of 10 inches. The males have a light mark behind the orange saddle. This wrasse is closely related to the Sunset wrasse and may hybridize with it.

    A Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse can be seen above the Saddle Wrasse.

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  • 19 of 50

    Juvenile Saddle Wrasse (Thalassoma duperrey)

    Juvenile Saddle Wrasse
    Keoki Stender

    The Saddle Wrasse (Thalassoma duperrey) is endemic to Hawaii and is the state's most common reef fish. It attains a length of 10 inches. The males have a light mark behind the orange saddle. This wrasse is closely related to the Sunset wrasse and may hybridize with it.

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  • 20 of 50

    Sunset Wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens)

    Sunset Wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens)
    Keoki Stender

    The Sunset Wrasse (Thalassoma lutescens) is very rare in Hawaii on shallow reefs. The females are greenish and both sexes have pink radiating lines on the head. It attains nine inches in length and can be found in Sri Lanka, Hawaii, and Southern Japan, SE Australia to Rapa.

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  • 21 of 50

    Blacktail Wrasse (Thalassoma ballieui)

    Blacktail Wrasse (Thalassoma ballieui)
    Keoki Stender

    The Blacktail (or Old Lady) Wrasse (Thalassoma ballieui) is endemic to Hawaii and is locally common on reefs. The males have a black tail and dark blue pectoral fins while juveniles are bright green in color. It attains 15 inches in length.

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  • 22 of 50

    Female Pencil Wrasse (Pseudojuloides cerasinus)

    Female Pencil Wrasse (Pseudojuloides cerasinus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Pencil (or Smalltail) Wrasse (Pseudojuloides cerasinus) is locally common over rubble and dead coral deeper than 40 feet. The male maintains a harem of females and attains five inches in length. It can be found in Hawaii, Southern Japan, and the Indo-Pacific.

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  • 23 of 50

    Male Pencil Wrasse (Pseudojuloides cerasinus)

    Male Pencil Wrasse (Pseudojuloides cerasinus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Pencil (or Smalltail) Wrasse (Pseudojuloides cerasinus) is locally common over rubble and dead coral deeper than 40 feet. The male maintains a harem of females and attains five inches in length. It can be found in Hawaii, Southern Japan, and the Indo-Pacific.

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  • 24 of 50

    Sunrise Wrasse (Bodianus sanguineus)

    Sunrise Wrasse (Bodianus sanguineus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Sunrise Wrasse (Bodianus sanguineus) is a rare deep-water (below 150 feet) fish found only in Hawaii. This beautiful little fish attains four inches in length.

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  • 25 of 50

    Female Redtail or Psychedelic Wrasse (Anampses chrysocephalus)

    Female Redtail Wrasse (Anampses chrysocephalus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Redtail or Psychedelic Wrasse (Anampses chrysocephalus) is endemic to Hawaii, being uncommon in deeper water among coral rubble. The male maintains a harem of several females. Juveniles are common during summer months. This fish attains a length of six inches.

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  • 26 of 50

    Male Redtail or Psychedelic Wrasse (Anampses chrysocephalus)

    Male Redtail Wrasse (Anampses chrysocephalus)
    Keoki Stender

    TThe Redtail or Psychedelic Wrasse (Anampses chrysocephalus) is endemic to Hawaii, being uncommon in deeper water among coral rubble. The male maintains a harem of several females. Juveniles are common during summer months. This fish attains a length of six inches.

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  • 27 of 50

    Juvenile Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)

    Juvenile Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus) is uncommon on coral rubble and rocky reefs. The juveniles vary in color and resemble drifting seaweed. This Wrasse spends its time turning stones in search of invertebrates. It can be found in the Indo-Pacific area, including Hawaii and the tropical Eastern Pacific. Adults can attain a length of up to 12 inches.

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  • 28 of 50

    Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)

    Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus) is uncommon on coral rubble and rocky reefs. The juveniles vary in color and resemble drifting seaweed. This Wrasse spends its time turning stones in search of invertebrates. It can be found in the Indo-Pacific area, including Hawaii and the tropical Eastern Pacific. Adults can attain a length of up to 12 inches.

    Continue to 29 of 50 below.
  • 29 of 50

    Slingjaw Wrasse (Epibulus insidiator)

    Slingjaw Wrasse (Epibulus insidiator)
    Keoki Stender

    You will probably never see the Slingjaw Wrasse (Epibulus insidiator) in an aquarium, as it is found only in the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands from French Frigate Shoals (uncommon) north to Midway (rare); it is quite common elsewhere. The juveniles are dark brown or yellow; adults with orange to white. It attains a length of 14 inches and is found in the Indo-Pacific, Hawaii, and the Ryukyus.

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  • 30 of 50

    Twospot Wrasse (Oxycheilinus bimaculatus)

    Male Twospot Wrasse (Oxycheilinus bimaculatus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Twospot Wrasse (Oxycheilinus bimaculatus) males have an extended upper caudal lobe. This fish is locally common in barren areas at deeper scuba depths. It attains a length of four inches and can be found in Hawaii, Southern Japan, and the Indo-Pacific.

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  • 31 of 50

    Juvenile Hawaiian Hogfish (Bodianus albotaeniatus)

    Juvenile Hawaiian Hogfish (Bodianus albotaeniatus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Juvenile Hawaiian Hogfish (Bodianus albotaeniatus) resembles an angelfish. Rarely seen males are white, blotched with purplish brown. This fish is found frequently in barren areas at scuba depths. It attains 20 inches in length and is endemic to Hawaii.

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  • 32 of 50

    Four-lined Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia)

    Four-Line Wrasse
    Keoki Stender

    The Four-lined Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus tetrataenia) is a common but shy fish among Finger coral at scuba depths. It attains a length of about 2.5 inches and can be found in Hawaii, Minami-tori-shima, Micronesia, New Caledonia, and Pitcairn.

    The Four-lined Wrasse Wrasse is a smaller species which does better in a less belligerent tank but may act aggressively toward towards more peaceful wrasses and other small fish. Given the right cover, it will spend a lot of its time hiding and foraging for small snails, worms and crustaceans in live rock.

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  • 33 of 50

    Chinstrap Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus evanidus) picture

    Chinstrap Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus evanidus)
    Keoki Stender

    The Chinstrap Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus evanidus) appears reddish brown underwater with many fine white stripes. It is locally common among rubble and Finger coral at scuba depths. This fish attains four inches in length and can be found in Hawaii and the Indo-Pacific.

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  • 34 of 50

    Eight-Lined Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus octotaenia)

    Eightline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus octotaenia)
    Keoki Stender

    The Eight-Lined Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus octotaenia) is shy at first, but once it gets used to being in an aquarium it becomes bolder and will take food out of your hand. The Eight-Lined Wrasse likes to hide, so be sure to give it plenty of cover.

    Like most Wrasses, the Eight-Lined Wrasse likes to burrow under the sand or substrate in your tank as a means of sleeping and protection. Be sure to keep the substrate clean for them. It is a fish that can pick up bacterial diseases both internal and external easily.

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  • 35 of 50

    Belted Wrasse (Stethojulis balteata)

    Belted Wrasse (Stethojulis balteata)
    Keoki Stender

    The Belted Wrasse (Stethojulis balteata) is common on shallow reefs. It is endemic to Hawaii. Juveniles are brown with a lighter crosshatch pattern. This fish has an orange spot above pectoral axil on all stages and attains a length of six inches.

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  • 36 of 50

    Female Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani)

    Female Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani)
    Keoki Stender

    The Female Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani) is endemic to Hawaii and quite rare among coral rubble in deep water. It attains a length of four inches.

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  • 37 of 50

    Male Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani)

    Male Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani)
    Keoki Stender

    The male Flame Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus jordani) is endemic to Hawaii and quite rare among coral rubble in deep water. It attains a length of four inches.

    Continue to 38 of 50 below.
  • 38 of 50

    Female Shortnosed Wrasse (Macropharyngodon geoffroy)

    Female Shortnose Wrasse (Macropharyngodon geoffroy)
    Keoki Stender

    The Shortnosed Wrasse (Macropharyngodon geoffroy) is endemic to Hawaii and fairly common on reefs, especially juveniles that resemble seaweed. It attains a length of about four inches.

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  • 39 of 50

    Juvenile Shortnosed Wrasse (Macropharyngodon geoffroy)

    Juvenile Shortnose Wrasse (Macropharyngodon geoffroy)
    Keoki Stender

    The Shortnosed Wrasse (Macropharyngodon geoffroy) is endemic to Hawaii and fairly common on reefs, especially juveniles that resemble seaweed. It attains a length of about four inches.

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  • 40 of 50

    Pearl Wrasse (Anampses cuvier)

    Pearl Wrasse (Anampses cuvier)
    Keoki Stender

    The Pearl Wrasse (Anampses cuvier) is endemic to Hawaii and uncommon in shallow water. It attains a length of 14 inches.

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  • 41 of 50

    Remmy's Banana Wrasse

    Banana Wrasse
    Remmy

    Scientific Name: Helichoeres chrysus

    Other Common Names: Yellow Wrasse, Golden Wrasse.

    Continue to 42 of 50 below.
  • 42 of 50

    Heidi Diener's Tri-Colored Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis)

    Tri-Colored Fairy Wrasse (Cirrhilabrus solorensis)
    Heidi Diener
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  • 43 of 50

    Juvenile Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)

    Juvenile Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)
    Keoki Stender
    Continue to 44 of 50 below.
  • 44 of 50

    Yellowtail Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard)

    Yellowtail Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard)
    Todd Gunderson
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  • 45 of 50

    Yellowtail Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard)

    Yellowtail Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard)
    Gary Harmon
    Continue to 46 of 50 below.
  • 46 of 50

    Sixline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia)

    Sixline Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus hexataenia) Image
    Sammi Baker's
    Continue to 47 of 50 below.
  • 47 of 50

    Harlequin Tusk Wrasse (Choerodon fasciatus)

    Harlequin Tusk Wrasse (Choerodon fasciatus)
    Steven Mak
    Continue to 48 of 50 below.
  • 48 of 50

    Yellowtail Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard)

    Yellowtail Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard)
    Todd Gunderson
    Continue to 49 of 50 below.
  • 49 of 50

    Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides phthirophagus)

    Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides phthirophagus)
    Keoki Stender
    Continue to 50 of 50 below.
  • 50 of 50

    Juvenile Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse (Labroides phthirophagus)

    Juvenile Hawaiian Cleaner Wrasse
    Keoki Stender