Thalassoma pavo 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Thalassoma pavo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Ornate Wrasse, Parrotfish
French Girelle Paon
Spanish Fredi
Chlorichthys pavo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Julis blochii Valenciennes, 1839
Julis pavo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Julis squamismarginatus Bowdich, 1825
Julis turcica ssp. lemniscata Lowe, 1843
Julis turcica ssp. torquata Lowe, 1843
Julis turcicia Risso, 1827
Julis unimaculata Lowe, 1841
Julis unimaculata ssp. lineolata Lowe, 1841
Julis unimaculata ssp. taeniata Lowe, 1841
Julis vulgaris Valenciennes, 1843
Labrus leo Rafinesque, 1810
Labrus pavo Linnaeus, 1758
Labrus syriacus Bloch & Schneider, 1801
Thalassoma parvo (Linnaeus, 1758)
Thalassoma pavo ssp. lemniscata (Lowe, 1843)
Thalassoma pavo ssp. taeniata (Lowe, 1841)
Thalassoma pavo ssp. torquata (Lowe, 1843)
Thalassoma unimaculata (Lowe, 1841)
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 27 August 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 27 August 2014).
Taxonomic Notes: From Senegal southwards along the west African coast, this species is probably replaced by a separate species, Thalassoma newtoni.

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-07-12
Assessor(s): Pollard, D. & Afonso, P.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is present throughout most of the Mediterranean Sea and the sub-tropical and tropical coasts of West Africa and the Macaronesian islands, where there are no known major threats to its populations. There is no specific population information available for this species in the north-eastern Atlantic, though overall its populations are thought to be stable. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:In the Eastern Atlantic, this Atlanto-Mediterranean species is present from Portugal southwards to around Senegal, including the Azores, Madeira, Canary Islands, Selvagens and Cape Verde Islands. From Senegal southwards along the west African coast to Cape Lopez in Gabon, this species is probably replaced by a separate species, T. newtoni. References to this species occuring in Sao Tome and Principe (Afonso et al. 1999) probably refer to T. newtoni (L. Rocha pers. comm. 2008).

It is found throughout most of the Mediterranean Sea, except for parts of the northern coasts of the western Mediterranean and the Adriatic Sea. It is however found in the Ligurian Sea and around Sardinia (Molinari and Tunesi 2003, Molinari 2005, Tunesi et al. 2006, Tunesi and Molinari 2005, Sara et al. 2004, Guidetti et al. 2004, Guidetti et al. 2008). It is absent from the Black Sea (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Benin; Cameroon; Cape Verde; Côte d'Ivoire; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; Equatorial Guinea; France; Gabon; Gambia; Ghana; Gibraltar; Greece; Guinea; Guinea-Bissau; Israel; Italy; Lebanon; Liberia; Libya; Malta; Mauritania; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Nigeria; Portugal; Sao Tomé and Principe; Senegal; Sierra Leone; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Togo; Tunisia; Turkey; Western Sahara
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):60
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:In the Mediterranean Sea, this species is less common in the north-western basin, as it prefers warmer waters. It is mainly common elsewhere.

The population declined in the 1970's in the Ligurian Sea, but is now recolonising this area (Tunesi pers. comm.). This species is now also expanding its range in the Gulf of Lion, where it was not previously present (Quignard pers. comm.). Overall, the wider Mediterranean populations of this species appear to be stable.

It is the most abundant and common wrasse in the shallow rocky habitats of the Azores (Porteiro 1995, Afonso 2002), Madeira (Ribeiro et al. 2005, 2006) and the Canaries (Falcón et al 1996, Brito et al. 2002). It is also common but not as abundant in Cape Verde (Monteiro et al. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species inhabits coastal waters near rocks and seagrass beds. It is also often found near man-made structures such as shipwrecks and jetties, etc. (Golani et al. 2006). It is either gregarious, being found in small groups or forming larger aggregations in loose schools, in association with the two types of mating system, territorial haremic or group spawning, respectively (P. Afonso pers. comm. 2008).

It feeds on small molluscs and crustaceans (Quignard and Pras 1986). The juveniles of this species often clean other fishes (Golani et al. 2006).

This species is a protogynous hermaphrodite, with distinct sexual dichromatism (Gomon and Forsyth 1990). It spawns in spring, and the eggs and larvae are planktonic (Golani et al. 2006).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is is fished locally in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Macaronesian islands with hook and line and with traps. It is also collected for the aquarium trade.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no known major threats to this species. However, it is fished locally in the Eastern Mediterranean and the Macaronesian islands with hook and line and with traps (Bariche pers. comm. and Afonso pers. comm. 2008).

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas within its range.

Citation: Pollard, D. & Afonso, P. 2010. Thalassoma pavo. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187418A8530118. . Downloaded on 20 June 2018.
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