Halichoeres scapularis (Bennett, 1832)
Zigzag wrasse
photo by Randall, J.E.

Family:  Labridae (Wrasses), subfamily: Corinae
Max. size:  20 cm TL (male/unsexed)
Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 20 m
Distribution:  Indo-West Pacific: Red Sea and East Africa (Ref. 2334) to Papua New Guinea, north to Japan, south to the Great Barrier Reef in Australia.
Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11-11; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 11-11. The initial phase is olivaceous to brownish yellow dorsally, white ventrally, with a black zigzag stripe running from eye to upper caudal peduncle (continuing anteriorly as a yellow stripe from the eye to the snout). This primary phase is similar to H. trimaculatus except for the black zigzag stripe along its back (Ref. 1602). The terminal phase is green, the zigzag stripe lavender-pink with its anterior portion overlaid by a black blotch.
Biology:  Common in shallow lagoons or bays; usually over sand, rubble, or seagrass bottom (Ref. 41878), rather than on coral reefs. May be found in groups (Ref. 90102). Usually solitary and aggressive towards members of its own species. Feeds on small crustaceans by picking them off the sandy bottom (Ref. 5503).
IUCN Red List Status: Least Concern (LC); Date assessed: 12 April 2008 Ref. (120744)
Threat to humans:  harmless
Country info:   

Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 10.06.92
Modified by: Olisa, Kristine Elaine Paz - 17.05.13
Checked by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 09.05.95

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