Five groups that classify all living things
A group of animals within the animal kingdom
A group of animals within a pylum
A group of animals within a class
A group of animals within an order
Most widely used name for this species
The name of the animal in science
The area where the animal first came from
|Atlantic, Indian and Pacific Oceans|
What kind of foods the animal eats
How long (L) or tall (H) the animal is
|11cm - 250cm (4in - 98in)|
Either freshwater, brakish or salt
|Optimum pH Level:|
The perfect acidity conditions for the animal
|5 - 7|
How long the animal lives for
|3 - 10 years|
The likelihood of the animal becoming extinct
The colour of the animal's coat or markings
|Grey, Black, Brown, White, Yellow, Green, Blue, Orange|
The protective layer of the animal
The preferred food of this animal
The specific area where the animal lives
|Coral reefs and rocky shores|
|Average Clutch Size:|
The average number of eggs laid at once
The food that the animal gains energy from
|Small Fish and Invertebrates|
Other animals that hunt and eat the animal
|Sharks, Lionfish, Barracuda|
Characteristics unique to this animal
|Large, thick lips and protractile mouths|
WrasseThe wrasse is a typically small species of fish, found in the coastal waters of the world's major oceans. The Cleaner wrasse is the most commonly known wrasse species as it is often seen alongside other marine animals, including sharks.
There are more than 500 different species of Wrasse found in the shallower coastal waters and coral reefs, of the Pacific, Indian and Atlantic oceans. Wrasse most commonly inhabit areas that have an abundance of both food and places to hide, making coral reefs and rocky shores the perfect home for the wrasse.
Cleaner wrasse are the most well-known wrasse species as they are often seen going into the mouths of large marine animals in order remove the dead material inside. Cleaner wrasse feed on dead tissues, scales and parasites that lurk inside the mouth of the larger animal, and few are actually eaten by the predator that they are assisting.
Wrasse come in a variety of colours and sizes depending on the species of wrasse. Wrasse tend to be relatively small in size, with many species of wrasse being less than 20 cm in length. One species of wrasse however is enormous in comparison, growing to more than 2 meters long.
Wrasse are carnivorous animals that have thick lips with a row of teeth that usually face outwards. The mouth of the wrasse is protractile which means that it is capable of extending forwards. Wrasse feeds on a number of small invertebrates, small fish and food particles in the water. Wrasse are also known to follow large predatory fish, eating the trail of left-overs that it leaves behind it.
Due to their small size, wrasse have numerous predators in their natural environment including larger fish, such as lionfish, dogfish and barracuda and wrasse are even eaten by some smaller species of shark.
Wrasse are known to live for a relatively long-time particularly for their small size. Wrasse mate by releasing their eggs and sperm in to the water, which are fertilised and become part of the plankton until they are big enough to join the reef. Female wrasse lay thousands of eggs at at time so the wrasse population numbers are relatively high.
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First Published: 1st February 2010, Last Updated: 10th September 2018
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2. David Burnie, Kingfisher (2011) The Kingfisher Animal Encyclopedia [Accessed at: 01 Jan 2011]
3. Dorling Kindersley (2006) Dorling Kindersley Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]
4. Richard Mackay, University of California Press (2009) The Atlas Of Endangered Species [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]
5. Tom Jackson, Lorenz Books (2007) The World Encyclopedia Of Animals [Accessed at: 01 Feb 2010]