Labrus viridis 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Labrus viridis Linnaeus, 1758
Regional Assessments:
Common Name(s):
English Green Wrasse
French Labre Vert
Spanish Tordo
Labrus prasostictes Pallas, 1814
Labrus viridis ssp. prasostictes Pallas, 1814
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: Vulnerable A4ad ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2008-06-12
Assessor(s): Pollard, D. & Choat, J.H.
Reviewer(s): Sadovy, Y. & Liu, M.
This species is widespread in the Mediterranean, although it is now less common in some areas. Its population has suffered serious declines in the northwestern Mediterranean due to spearfishing for sport and food. There have also been severe declines in other parts of its range (e.g., in Tunisia). Habitat degradation may also be a major threat to this species. There have been local population declines of 50–80% in at least a third of its range in the western Mediterranean over the past 15 years, although there is no information on current declines in the eastern portion of its range even though fishing is a threat throughout its range. Without immediate implementation of conservation measures, this trend in decline is predicted to continue into the future and throughout the eastern parts of the species range. Overall decline is therefore expected to be at least 30% over three generation lengths (26 years). This species is listed as Vulnerable.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:In the eastern Atlantic, this species is present from Portugal to northern Morocco. In the Mediterranean Sea, it is present throughout most of the area, including Cyprus (Golani et al. 2006), although it has not been recorded from Israel (Golani et al. 2006), Lebanon or Syria (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008). This species is also found in the western Black Sea (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).
Countries occurrence:
Albania; Algeria; Bulgaria; Croatia; Cyprus; Egypt; France; Gibraltar; Greece; Italy; Libya; Malta; Monaco; Montenegro; Morocco; Portugal; Romania; Slovenia; Spain; Tunisia; Turkey; Ukraine
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 is a widespread but now relatively uncommon species. In the northwestern part of the Mediterranean Sea the population is continuing to decline, and the situation in the rest of the area is unknown (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008). Declines in the numbers of large specimens have occurred over the past 10 to 20 years due to spearfishing in Italy (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008), and most likely also in France and Spain. The population decline in France has been around 80%, and in Tunisia around 50% (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008). However, although this species may now be less commonly found in the western Mediterranean Sea, it is not known whether similar declines may have also occurred in other parts of the Mediterranean Sea (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).

Based on overall declines of 50-80% in at least a third of its range in the western Mediterranean, overall population declines since at least the 1990s are inferred to be more than 30% and are predicted to continue into the future and in the eastern portion of its range.
Current Population Trend:Decreasing
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:This species is found in seagrass beds and around rocky reefs, particularly algal-covered rocks. It is generally solitary or found living in pairs, but it may also be found living in small groups (Golani et al. 2006).

It feeds mainly on crustaceans and small fishes. It displays very distinct sexual dimorphism, and is probably a protogynous hermaphrodite. The adhesive demersal eggs are laid in vegetated habitats (Golani et al. 2006).

This species is similar in demography with Notolbarus fucicola which has a generation length of about 7.5 years based on age at fist maturity of 2.5 years in southern New Zealand (H. Choat and D. Pollard pers comm. 2009). Generation length for this species is estimated to be approximately 8.5 years based on a longevity of 20 years and age of first maturity of three years.
Generation Length (years):8.5

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: This species is collected for food.

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): This species is caught in local artisanal fisheries in Italy and Tunisia. Spearfishing in the northwestern Mediterranean Sea is also a major threat, and there are some concerns about the spread of this sport throughout the whole Mediterranean Sea.

Habitat degradation, and more specifically seagrass bed reduction, is also a threat to this species (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. The regulation of spearfishing of this species is recommended. Further research should also be conducted to determine the population trends of this species in the western Mediterranean Sea and elsewhere in its range.

Citation: Pollard, D. & Choat, J.H. 2010. Labrus viridis. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187654A8591882. . Downloaded on 24 September 2018.
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