Barred thicklipHemigymnus fasciatus

  • Fringing Reef
  • Wrasses
  • Lagoon coral patches
  • Fauna


The Hemigymnus fasciatus, of the order of Perciformes and family of Labridae (Wrasses) is commonly known as the Banded thicklip, Barred thicklip, Barred thicklip wrasse, Barred wrasse, Five-banded wrasse. There several colour patterns depending on age and sex. Juveniles are dark brown with 6 thin irregular white bars; its head has pale yellow lines that radiate from the eye and lips are whitish. Females are black with four white stripes; head is green on the above slowing grading into yellow with large blue rimmed pink bands and black pelvic fins. Males are similar to females but often the white bars have a green tint; a dark green or black spot is present behind the eye; smaller black spots are present on the nape; pink band has black tint and pelvic fins are green[1]. It has total of 9 dorsal spines, 10 to 11 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 11 anal soft rays[2].


[1] ‘Hemigymnus Fasciatus’.

[2] ‘Hemigymnus Fasciatus Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the Indo-Pacific region. It is found on coral reefs and reef flats. Juveniles are on inshore reefs while adults swim freely, on their own or in groups. Diet consists of small crustaceans, molluscs and echinoderms. Distinct pairs are formed  during breeding.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorized as being of ‘Least Concern’. It is collected for consumption in certain areas and forms part of aquarium trade which are potential threats. No conservation measures are in place for this species. It is present in many MPAs though[1].


[1] ‘Hemigymnus Fasciatus’.

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum recorded length of 30cm.