Thalassoma lucasanum 

Scope: Global
Language: English

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Taxonomy [top]

Kingdom Phylum Class Order Family
Animalia Chordata Actinopterygii Perciformes Labridae

Scientific Name: Thalassoma lucasanum (Gill, 1862)
Common Name(s):
English Cortez Rainbow Wrasse
Spanish Arcoiris De Cortes, Vieja Arco Iris, Vieja De Cortes, Vieja De Cortez
Julis lucasanus Gill, 1862

Assessment Information [top]

Red List Category & Criteria: Least Concern ver 3.1
Year Published: 2010
Date Assessed: 2007-05-23
Assessor(s): Allen, G.R., Robertson, R.D., Edgar, G., Rivera, F., Zapata, F., Merlen, G., Barraza, E., Victor, B. & Medina, B.
Reviewer(s): Collen, B., Richman, N., Beresford, A., Chenery, A. & Ram, M.
Contributor(s): De Silva, R., Milligan, H., Lutz, M., Batchelor, A., Jopling, B., Kemp, K., Lewis, S., Lintott, P., Sears, J., Wilson, P., Smith, J. & Livingston, F.
Thalassoma lucasanum has been assessed as Least Concern. This species is a small abundant wrasse in the in the eastern Pacific. It is not fished for consumption, but may be collected for aquarium trade. There are no major threats known.

Geographic Range [top]

Range Description:Thalassoma lucasanum is found in southern Baja and the Central Gulf of California to Ecuador. It is also known from all the offshore islands except for Clipperton.
Countries occurrence:
Colombia; Costa Rica; Ecuador (Ecuador (mainland), Galápagos); El Salvador; Guatemala; Honduras; Mexico; Nicaragua; Panama
FAO Marine Fishing Areas:
Pacific – eastern central; Pacific – southeast
Additional data:
Lower depth limit (metres):45
Range Map:Click here to open the map viewer and explore range.

Population [top]

Population:Thalassoma lucasanum is abundant but there are no specific estimates of population (J.H. Choat, pers. comm. 2008 as pers. comm. from R. Robertson).
Current Population Trend:Stable
Additional data:
Population severely fragmented:No

Habitat and Ecology [top]

Habitat and Ecology:Thalassoma lucasanum forms aggregations that feed on plankton around rocky and coral reefs to depths of 45 m. It also feeds on benthic crustaceans, and fish eggs; and the young sometimes "clean" parasites from other fishes. It is a pelagic spawner, and sex reversal is completed in 2–6 weeks (Sadovy and Shapiro 1987; Warner 1982).

Use and Trade [top]

Use and Trade: There is some evidence that this species is taken for the aquarium trade (J.H. Choat, pers. comm. 2008 as pers. comm. from R.Robertson).

Threats [top]

Major Threat(s): There are no major threats to Thalassoma lucasanum. It could possibly be collected for the aquarium trade.

Conservation Actions [top]

Conservation Actions: There are no species-specific conservation measures known for Thalassoma lucasanum. This species distribution overlaps with several marine protected areas.

Classifications [top]

9. Marine Neritic -> 9.2. Marine Neritic - Subtidal Rock and Rocky Reefs

In-Place Research, Monitoring and Planning
In-Place Land/Water Protection and Management
  Occur in at least one PA:Yes
In-Place Species Management
In-Place Education
5. Biological resource use -> 5.4. Fishing & harvesting aquatic resources -> 5.4.1. Intentional use: (subsistence/small scale) [harvest]
♦ timing:Ongoing ♦ scope:Minority (<50%) ♦ severity:No decline ⇒ Impact score:Low Impact: 4 
→ Stresses
  • 2. Species Stresses -> 2.1. Species mortality

♦  Pets/display animals, horticulture
 Local : ✓ 

Bibliography [top]

Aburto-Oropeza, O. and Balart, E.F. 2001. Community structure of reef fish in several habitats of a rocky reef in the Gulf of California. Marine Ecology 22(4): 283-305.

Dominici-Arosemena, A. and Wolff, M. 2006. Reef fish community structure in the Tropical Eastern Pacific (Panamá): living on a relatively stable rocky reef environment. Helgoland Marine Research 60: 287-305.

Dominici-Arosemena, A., Brugnoli-Olivera, E., Cortés Núñez, J., Molina-Urena, H. and Quesada-Alpizar, M. 2005. Community structure of eastern Pacific reef fishes (Gulf of Papagayo, Costa Rica). Tecnociencia 7(2): 19-41.

Edgar, G.J., Banks, S., Fariña, J.M., Calvopiña, M. and Martínez, C. 2004. Regional biogeography of shallow reef fish and macro‐invertebrate communities in the Galapagos archipelago. Journal of Biogeography 31(7): 1107-1124.

Espinoza, M. and Salas, E. 2005. Estructura de las comunidades de peces de arrecife en las islas Catalinas y Playa Ocotal, Pacífico Norte de Costa Rica. Revista de Biologia Tropical 53: 523-536.

Figueroa, R.R. 2001. Caracterización de la ictiofauna de los sustratos duros de la parte interna del Golfo Dulce, Costa Rica. Universidad de Costa Rica.

Foster, S.A. 1987. Acquisition of a defended resource: a benefit of group foraging for the neotropical wrasse, Thalassoma lucasanum. Environmental Biology of Fishes 19(3): 215-222.

Gill, T.N. 1862. Note on some genera of fishes of western North America. Proceedings of the Academy of Natural Sciences of Philadelphia 14(7-9): 329-332.

Gomon, M.F. 1995. Labridae: Viejas, doncellasas, señoritas. In: W. Fischer, F. Krupp, W. Schneider, C. Sommer, K. Carpenter and V.H. Niem (eds), Guia FAO para la identificacion de especies para los fines de la pesca, pp. 1201-1225. Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO), Roma.

IUCN. 2010. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species (ver. 2010.4). Available at: (Accessed: 27 October 2010).

Robertson, D.R. and Allen, G.R. 2008. Shorefishes of the tropical eastern Pacific: online information system. Smithsonian Tropical Research Institute, Balboa, Panama.

Roca, R., Earle, S., Shillinger, G., Mourra, V., Zumbrunn, S. and Mckenna, S. 2003. Eastern Tropical Pacific Seascape: an oceanic and coastal conservation and sustainable development corridor. Information CD Rom.

Rojo-Vázquez, J.A., Aguilar-Palomino, B., Galván-Piña, V.H., Godínez-Domínguez, E., Hernández-Vazquez, S., Ruiz-Ramírez, S. and Lucano-Ramírez, G. 2001. Ictiofauna de la pesquería ribereña en Bahía de Navidad, Jalisco, México asociada al evento El Niño 1997-1998. Revista de Biología Tropical 49: 915-929.

Rubio, E.A. 1986. Notas sobre la ictiofauna de la Isla Gorgona, Pacífico colombiano. Boletín Ecotrópica 13: 86-112.

Sadovy, Y. and Shapiro, D.Y. 1987. Criteria for the diagnosis of hermaphroditism in fishes. Copeia 1: 136-156.

UNEP World Conservation Monitoring Centre/ IUCN World Commission on Protected Areas. 2006. World Database on Protected Areas. Available at:

Victor, B.C. 1986. Duration of the planktonic larval stage of one hundred species of Pacific and Atlantic wrasses (family Labridae). Marine Biology 90(3): 317-326.

Villarreal-Cavazos, A., Reyes-Bonilla, H., Bermúdez-Almada, B. and Arizpe-Covarrubias, O. 2000. Los peces del arrecife de Cabo Pulmo, Golfo de California, Mexico: Lista sistematica y aspectos de abundancia y biogeografía. Revista de Biologia Tropical 48(2-3): 413-424.

Warner, R.R. 1982. Mating systems, sex change and sexual demography in the rainbow wrasse, Thalassoma lucasanum. Copeia 3: 653-661.

Zapata, F.A. and Morales, Y.A. 1997. Spatial and temporal patterns of fish diversity in coral reef at Gorgona Island, Colombia. 8th International Coral Reef Symposium: 1029-1034. Panama.

Citation: Allen, G.R., Robertson, R.D., Edgar, G., Rivera, F., Zapata, F., Merlen, G., Barraza, E., Victor, B. & Medina, B. 2010. Thalassoma lucasanum. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T154954A4676318. . Downloaded on 25 June 2018.
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