Dusky Wrasse (species: Halichoeres marginatus) in Lizard Island Field Guide (Lizard Island Field Guide)
Halichoeres marginatus
Dusky Wrasse

©Graham Edgar: Halichoeres marginatus at Cod Hole near Lizard Island

©Simon Gingins: Halichoeres marginatus, Lizard Island area.

©Anne Hoggett: This poor photo appears to be of a large (12-15 cm) juvenile Halichoeres marginatus near North Point, Lizard Island. Thanks to Renato Morais for the identification. He saw many of these on exposed reef crests in late 2018, always with an adult of that species close by. Allen and Erdmann (2012) note that juveniles have a large, pale-edged dark spot in the middle of the dorsal fin.
Kingdom Animalia
Phylum Chordata
Class Actinopterygii
Order Perciformes
Family Labridae
Genus Halichoeres
Species Halichoeres marginatus



Distinguishing features

A small brown/green wrasse with a white, square-cut tail and an ocellated black spot on the dorsal fin. Fairly abundant on the reef crest on the northern side of Lizard Island.


  • Up to 17 cm (Length)

Depth range

  • Depth range data is not yet available.



©Atlas of Living Australia: Australian distribution

Web resources


References that assist with identification

  • Allen and M.V. Erdmann, G.R. (2012). Reef fishes of the East Indies. Volumes I-III in: Reef fishes of the East Indies. Tropical Reef Research, Perth, Australia. LIRS catalog number 90162.

Other references

  • Fulton, C.J. (2000). The relationship between swimming ability and habitat use in wrasses (Labridae), Honours thesis, James Cook University, Townsville. LIRS catalog number 619.
  • Fulton, C.J. and D.R. Bellwood (2002). Patterns of foraging in labrid fishes, Marine Ecology Progress Series, 226: 135-142. LIRS catalog number 725.
  • View all references