Bluelined wrasse Stethojulis albovittata

  • Fringing Reef
  • Wrasses
  • Fauna
  • Lagoon coral patches


The Stethojulis albovittata, of the order of Perciformes and family Labridae is commonly known as the Bluelined wrasse or Rainbowfish. Its upper body colour is greenish to grey brown, with pale  freckled over the area. Its lower body colour is whitish, and the two areas are separated by a reddish stripe. Other distinctive markings include, two small blue rimmed black spots that are found mid laterally on the caudal fin base. Two pale stripes are also present on the upper part of the body. In terminal males, there are three narrow blue stripes on the body[1]. The species has a total of 9   dorsal spines, 11 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 11 anal soft rays[2]. They have 25 to 30 gills rak. Teeth are incisiform. It has a small, rounded caudal fin and the pectoral fin is oblique. Females have two white lines and males are marked  with red axil spot.


[1] ‘Coastal Fishes of Oman - John E. Randall - Google Books’.

[2] ‘Stethojulis Albovittata, Bluelined Wrasse : Aquarium’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the Western Indian Ocean from the Red Sea to Natal, South Africa and east to Maldives and Chagos Islands. Its recorded depth range is between 0 and 21m and it is found in reef flats, lagoons, rocky substrates, seagrass and seaward reefs. The diet of the Bluelined wrasse consists of small invertebrates; especially molluscs and crustaceans. Individuals are usually solitary or in small groups where one male can be found with a few females. They are oviparous and form pairs during  breeding time.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red list, this species is categorised as being of ‘Least Concern’ as it is common and widespread with no major threats. No conservation measures are in place for this species. However, it is present in many MPAs[1].


[1] ‘Stethojulis Albovittata’.

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum length of 14cm.