Labrus merula 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Labrus merula Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Brown Wrasse, Cuckoo wrasse
French Merle
Spanish Merlo
Labrus lineolatus Valenciennes, 1839
Labrus livens Linnaeus, 1758
Labrus nereus Risso, 1810
Labrus psittacus Risso, 1827
Labrus saxorum Valenciennes, 1839
Labrus turdus Linnaeus, 1758
Taxonomic Source(s): Eschmeyer, W.N. (ed.). 2014. Catalog of Fishes. Updated 27 August 2014. Available at: (Accessed: 27 August 2014).

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-05-10
Assessor(s): Pollard, D.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.
This species is widespread and common in the Mediterranean. There may be some threats from habitat degradation (i.e. seagrass bed destruction), however, the population has not shown any serious signs of decline. Therefore, this species is listed as Least Concern.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:In the Eastern Atlantic, this species is present from Portugal to Morocco, including the Azores Islands (P. Afonso pers. comm. 2008).

In the Mediterranean Sea, this species is present throughout the entire area except for the eastern Levantine Sea. It is not present in the Black Sea (Golani et al. 2006).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Gibraltar; Greece; Israel; Italy; Libya; Malta; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Portugal; Slovenia; Spain; Syrian Arab Republic; Tunisia; Turkey
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Atlantic – northeast; Atlantic – eastern central; Mediterranean and Black Sea
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):50
Upper depth limit (metres):1
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:This species is relatively widespread and common throughout most of the Mediterranean Sea (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found around rocks, amongst seaweeds and in seagrass beds. It exhibits some schooling but are more solitary when older. It feeds on sea urchins, ophiuroids, mollusks, crabs and worms.

Maturity occurs after two years at lengths between 15 and 20 cm. This species spawns from February to May in the western Mediterranean Sea (Quignard and Pras 1986). Demersal eggs are laid amongst seagrasses and are protected by the males (Golani et al. 2006).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species may sometimes be utilised as food (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): Threats to this species include habitat degradation, specifically the reduction of Posidonia seagrass beds.
Larger individuals may be caught in the artisanal fisheries and used as food locally in the Mediterranean region (D. Pollard 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. 2010. Labrus merula. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187541A8562713. . Downloaded on 24 June 2018.
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