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Phylum Chordata > Subphylum Vertebrate > fishes > Family Labridae
Brown-stripe wrasse
Halichoeres bicolor
Family Labridae
updated Sep 2020

Where seen? This colourful little fish is sometimes seen on some of our shores, near living reefs, usually alone. Elsewhere, it is found in silty sand or mud near shallow reefs and seagrass beds.

Features: To about 13cm, those seen about 6-8cm. Snout pointed, a dark stripe along on the side, white-ringed black spot on the tail. There is a black spot in the middle of the front half of the dorsal fin which is not easy to see in a fish that is stranded out of water (fins not spread out). The stripe along the lateral line is thin in younger fishes and widens to about the same diameter as the eye as the fish reaches adulthood, with pearly blue spots along the centre. The black spots on the dorsal fins usually become faded in large males. There is a reddish brown band on the head, edged with blue on the side of the snout from the mouth to the front edge of the eye, and an upward curved band on the cheek below the eye, and a vertically elongated dark brown spot just behind the eye.

Terumbu Raya, Aug 14

Terumbu Bemban, Jul 14
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on flickr.

Nasty bite! This little fish can give a nasty bite to a naked hand or finger. It is often seen stranded at low tide and our natural instinct is to pick it up and put into a nearby pool of water. This is when the fish can give a painful nip and take out a chunk of your finger or hand! If you really want to transfer it to a pool of water, do not use bare hands. Or you can just leave it alone, the fish is likely to be able to survive until the tide returns.

Brown-striped wrasses on Singapore shores
On wildsingapore flickr

Other sightings on Singapore shores

Pasir Ris Park, Mar 13
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on flickr.

Beting Bronok, Jun 14
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

East Coast Park, Sep 19
Photo shared by Kelvin Yong on facebook.

Changi, Jan 15
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

St John's Island, Jan 20
Photo shared by Marcus Ng on facebook.

Lazarus Island, Feb 11
Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Big Sisters Island, Sep 20
Photo shared by Jianlin Liu on facebook.

Small Sisters Island, Aug 21
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Cyrene, Sep 20
Photo shared by Loh Kok Sheng on facebook.

Terumbu Semakau, Jul 14
Photo shared by Juria Toramae on facebook.

Beting Bemban Besar, May 11

Photo shared by Russel Low on facebook.

Terumbu Bemban, Apr 11
Photo shared by Rene Ong on facebook.

Terumbu Pempang Laut, Mar 24
Photo shared by Vincent Choo on facebook.

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