Cheilinus chlorourus


Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family

Scientific Name: Cheilinus chlorourus
Species Authority: (Bloch, 1791)
Common Name/s:
English Floral wrasse, Maori wrasse, Redspotted maori wrasse, White-dotted maori wrasse
French Calambe, Labre à tache rouge, Les os verts, Madame tombe, Perroquet, Vieille tachetée
Spanish Vieja florida
Cheilinus blochii Valenciennes, 1840
Cheilinus blochii Valenciennes, 1840
Cheilinus chlororus (Bloch, 1791)
Cheilinus chlororus (Bloch, 1791)
Cheilinus chlorouros (Bloch, 1791)
Cheilinus chlorouros (Bloch, 1791)
Cheilinus chlorurus (Bloch, 1791)
Cheilinus chlorurus (Bloch, 1791)
Cheilinus decacanthus Bleeker, 1851
Cheilinus decacanthus Bleeker, 1851
Cheilinus guttatus Bleeker 1847
Cheilinus guttatus Bleeker 1847
Cheilinus punctatus Bennett 1832
Cheilinus punctatus Bennett 1832
Cheilinus punctulatus Valenciennes 1840
Cheilinus punctulatus Valenciennes 1840
Sparus chlorourus Bloch, 1791
Sparus chlorourus Bloch, 1791
Thalliurus blochii Swainson 1839
Thalliurus blochii Swainson 1839
Thalliurus chlororus (Bloch, 1791)
Thalliurus chlororus (Bloch, 1791)
Thalliurus chlorurus (Bloch, 1791)
Thalliurus chlorurus (Bloch, 1791)

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-07-12
Assessor/s: Shea, S., Liu, M. & Sadovy, Y.
Reviewer/s: Craig, M.T. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is widespread and is common in many parts of its range. There are no major threats to this species. It is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description: This species is found in the Indo-Pacific from East Africa to the Marquesan and Tuamoto islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia and Rapa.
American Samoa (American Samoa); Australia; Cambodia; China; Cocos (Keeling) Islands; Comoros; Cook Islands; Fiji; French Polynesia; Guam; India; Indonesia; Japan; Kenya; Kiribati; Madagascar; Malaysia; Maldives; Marshall Islands; Mauritius; Mayotte; Micronesia, Federated States of ; Mozambique; Myanmar; Nauru; New Caledonia; Niue; Northern Mariana Islands; Palau; Papua New Guinea; Philippines; Pitcairn; Réunion; Samoa; Seychelles; Solomon Islands; Somalia; South Africa; Sri Lanka; Taiwan, Province of China; Tanzania, United Republic of; Thailand; Tokelau; Tonga; Tuvalu; United States Minor Outlying Islands; Vanuatu; Wallis and Futuna; Yemen
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Indian Ocean – eastern; Indian Ocean – western; Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – northwest; Pacific – southwest; Pacific – western central
Range Map: Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population: This species is common in much of its range, and can be locally abundant.

In Solomon Islands, this species is rare (Allen 2006).

In Micronesia, this species is moderately common in areas of mixed sand, rubble and coral of lagoon reefs at depths of two to at least 30 m (Myers 1991).

In Hong Kong, abundance variable but exists in reasonable numbers in some shallow coral areas and less abundant in areas of boulders (Sadovy and Cornish 2000).

One to 25 individuals of C. chlorourus have been observed during visual surveys in 1998 and 2000 at Dampier Archipelago, Western Australia (Hutchins 2004).

2.306 +/- 0.156 individuals per 100 m2 of C. chlorourus which accounting 9.8 % of the total percentage of the density of all piscivores of the western side of Lizard Island (14°40’S, 145°28’E) have been noted in Stewart and Jones (2001).

Fourty-one individuals were observed in the lagoon areas in Rodrigues, Mauritius (Hardman et al., 2008) and C. chlorourus is listed as common fish species in Taiaro Atoll (Tuamotu Archipelago, French Polynesia) (Galzin et al. 1998).

In Fiji, a total of 1,286 individuals were observed in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 50-300 mm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

In New Caledonia, a total of 3,644 individuals were observed in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 30-400 mm TL. In 29 stations, a total of 68 individuals were caught with total body weight of 2,203 g (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

In French Polynesia, a total of 1785 individuals were observed in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 30-300 mm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

In Tonga, a total of 1,084 individuals were observed in various UVC surveys with body sizes of 40-300 mm TL (M. Kulbicki pers. comm. 2008).

On the east coast of Peninsular Malaysia, an estimated mean density of 2.3 individuals from twenty 50 m X 5 m transects was recorded in underwater fish visual surveys (Yusuf et al. 2002).
Population Trend: Unknown

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology: This species occurs in coral reefs, coastal reefs and in areas with mixed sand, rubble and corals, individuals are also recorded occasionally in sea grass areas (Allen 2000) at depths of two to at least 30 m (Myers 1991). Coastal reefs and sand lagoons inside outer reef areas (Kuiter 2006).

Coloration of this species is similar to C. trilobatus (Myers 1991) and colours are variable in intensity but always include black and white specks on body and white specks on pelvic, anal and caudal fins. Caudal fin of adult males have upper and lower rays prolonged as filaments, conversely, fin rounded in females (Sadovy and Cornish 2000).

Juveniles of this species are protected by living in live branching corals, such as ,i>Labrichthys unilineatus and so might explain the generally low mortality (Eckert 1987).

At One Tree Lagoon, the Great Barrier Reef, overall mortality during first year for C. chlorourus was 25%, average annual mortality was 20.5 +/- 4.1 % (Eckert 1987).

It feeds mainly on benthic invertebrates including molluscs, crustaceans, polychaetes and sea urchin (Froese and Pauly 2008).

Maximum size of the species is 45 cm TL (Lieske and Myers 1994).
Systems: Marine

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats known for this species. However, it is caught incidentally in the live reef fish food trade in some parts of its range, and is also collected for the aquarium trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures for this species. However, this species distribution includes a number of Marine Protected Areas within its range.

In New Caledonia, individuals were found in permanent marine reserves of Southwest lagoon of New Caledonia (Wantiez et al. 1997).

Cheilinus chlorourus was observed in the Tung Ping Chau Marine Park and Cape d’ Aguilar Marine Reserve, Hong Kong (Cornish 2000).

In Western Australia, several small no-take zones, Surf Point, Mary Anne Island, and Sandy Point are likely to encompass habitat occupied by C. chlorourus. There are totally eight no-take zones within the Ningaloo Reef Marine Park, spear-fishing is prohibited throughout the marine park and proposals are currently being considered for new marine parks in the Dampier Archipelago (Penn 2002) where C. chlorourus was observed (Hutchins 2004). It is worth noting that marine parks in western Australia do not necessarily imply no-take zones, but may include no-take zones within their boundaries or restrictions on catch limits or methods used for fishing. In Queensland, there is a minimum legal catch size for wrasses of 25 cm and daily catch limit of five fish per angler (Department of Primary Industries and Fisheries 2003).

In the south coast region of Western Australia, there is no minimum legal catch size for wrasse (Labridae), however the daily bag limit for the wrasse is eight fish per angler (Government of Western Australia 2008) and spear-fishing for wrasse (Labridae) is restricted in all marine park waters (Government of Western Australia 2000).
Citation: Shea, S., Liu, M. & Sadovy, Y. 2010. Cheilinus chlorourus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.2. <>. Downloaded on 24 April 2014.
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