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 Maori/Splendour Wrasses, the Genera Cheilinus & (to): Oxycheilinus

By Bob Fenner

  See the Maori, Splendour?

Genus Cheilinus: Eight valid species according to ICLARM. Older scientific and pet-fish literature may show Oxycheilinus species placed in this genus. See below.

I like the Europeans choice in common names, "Splendour Wrasses", for this genus and Oxycheilinus over other nationalities "Maori Wrasses" for them, in reference to the colorful "scribbling" on some species faces. Cheilinus labrids are indeed "splendid" all the way around in their color, markings, and graceful movement, but with a few exceptions all are just too BIG for aquarium use.

Cheilinus abudjubbe (Ruppell 1835), simply called the Abudjubbe or Adubjubbe's (Splendour) Wrasse is one of a handful of wrasses of this genus that are occasionally shipped out of the Red Sea (2). To about 16" overall length. Juvenile Abudjubbe's Wrasses in the Gulf of Aqaba.

Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.

Cheilinus celebicus (Bleeker 1853), the Celebes (Splendour) Wrasse. To 24 cm. Western Pacific; Moluccas, S. Japan, Tonga. Here in S. Sulawesi. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/
speciesSummary.php?ID=5597&
genusname=Oxycheilinus&speciesname=celebicus

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)

Cheilinus chlorourus (Bloch 1791), the Floral Wrasse (1). Hardy, but not as good-looking as some of its congeners. To twenty inches long in the wild; much smaller in captivity. Indo-Pacific out to the Tuamotus. The first one a small juvenile in Australia, another more adult in Pulau Redang, Malaysia, and one in Fiji.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available)
Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
Cheilinus fasciatus, (Bloch 1791), the Redbreasted Wrasse. Indo-Pacific; Red Sea, East Africa to Samoa. To sixteen inches overall length. Red Sea juvenile and adult.
Cheilinus lunulatus, (Forsskal 1775), The Broomtail Wrasse. Western Indian Ocean; Red Sea and Gulf of Oman. To twenty inches in length. Sharm el Sheik photos. 


Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
 

Cheilinus mentalis Ruppell 1828, the Mental Wrasse. Western Indian Ocean and Red Sea. To eight inches overall length. Rare in the western pet-fish trade. Individuals in the Red Sea's Gulf of Aqaba.


Bigger PIX:
The images in this table are linked to large (desktop size) copies. Click on "framed" images to go to the larger size.
 

Cheilinus oxycephalus, the Red Hog or Snooty Wrasse (1) is the big winner of the Cheilinus-for-aquariums ratings.. Especially as a juvenile this is a drop-dead gorgeous species that does well in peaceful fish and even reef aquarium settings. To less than eight inches overall length. Indo-Pacific but not Red Sea. Aquarium, N. & S. Sulawesi pix. http://fishbase.sinica.edu.tw/Summary/speciesSummary.php?ID=5602&genusname=Cheilinus&speciesname=oxycephalus


Cheilinus oxyrhynchus Bleeker 1862. Western Pacific.

No pic

Cheilinus trilobatus Lacepede 1801, the Tripletail Wrasse (2) we'll list as it is occasionally sold in the business. This is another aquarium-tough, medium-shipper that gets big (about two feet). Indo-Pacific; Red Sea to the Tuamotus. Here are images from the Maldives, Red Sea and Malaysia.

Verticals (Full/Cover Page Sizes Available

For curiosity's sake we'll mention the granddaddy of all wrasses that just happens to be in this genus. The Humphead or Napoleon Wrasse, Cheilinus undulatus Ruppell 1835 (2) looks like a tropical ornamental in photographs that lack visual size clues, but it gets the size of your couch! To seven feet (2.3m) and more than four hundred pounds. Folks ought to leave this friendly giant in the sea. Here are images of the world's largest species of Wrasse at one foot in a public aquarium (Waikiki), a two foot juvenile in the Red Sea, and a five foot "pet" in French Polynesia's Moorea. Head profile at top.


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