Bluespotted Tamarin Anampses caeruleopunctatus

  • Fringing Reef
  • Lagoon coral patches
  • Fauna
  • Fish
  • Blue-spotted Tamarin
  • Wrasses


The Bluespotted Tamarin is of the order of Perciformes, from the family of Labridae (Wrasses). Common names also include Bluespotted wrasse, Diamond wrasse, Spotted chisel-tooth wrasse and Spotted rare wrasse.  It has a total of 9 dorsal spines; 11 to 13 dorsal soft rays; 3 anal spines and 11 to 13 anal soft rays. This species possesses 27 lateral-line scales; 18 to 25 gill rakers. The mid-dorsal region of its nape is naked or has small deeply embedded scales. The body is relatively elongate in shape and the caudal fin has a truncate to slightly rounded shape. During the primary phase, the body colour ranges from brown to orange –brown. Each scale has a pale blue spot with a dark edge. The head has narrow blue bands that are darkly rimmed.  During the terminal phase, scales on certain areas of the body are olive with a dark-edged blue vertical line. The blue segments are shorter and oriented in different ways on the thorax, abdomen, and nape. In this phase the head has irregular, narrow, dark edged, blue bands and a broad blue band across the anterior interorbital space. Most fish of this species have a broad, light green stripe on the side. Close to its nape is reddish to reddish- brown in colour.  The dorsal and anal fins are reddish with bright blue margins and stripes[1]. There is a single pair of incisors, forward-projecting teeth at the front of each jaw. This species exhibits sexual dimorphism.


[1] ‘Anampses Caeruleopunctatus Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

Anampses caeruleopunctatus is widely present in the Indo-Pacific Ocean. It can be found from East Africa, the Red Sea and to the Line, Marquesan and Easter Island. Papua New Guinea, Marshall Islands, Samoa Islands and Phoenix Islands, North to South Japan, South of Australia and Lord Howe Island are also included in its range. Adults inhabit the surge zone of coral reefs or rocky coasts. Recorded depth range is between 3 and 30m. Juveniles swim with their head pointed toward the sea floor and undulate their body. They are active during the day and bury themselves at night. Juveniles feed on small crustaceans and polychaetes while the adults diet consists of large crustaceans, molluscs and polychaetes. They can be found as solitary individuals or in pairs.

Spawning usually occurs after high tide, from March to May. It has been reported that during courtship, the blue band between the eyes and around the mouth, and the single light green bar on the body of the male became brighter. Females will spawn together in a safe area while males guard the territory. Males usually raise their caudal fins while patrolling. This species is oviparous and forms distinct pairing during breeding. The males build dishes shape nests and guard the eggs, which are spherical in shape.


Conservation and management

According to the IUCN Red List, this species is listed under the ‘Least Concern’ category[1]. It is commonly distributed in many parts of its range. No species specific conservation measures are in place but it is present in many MPAs (Marine Protected Areas). Aquarium trade and collect are potential threats[2].


[1] Shea, S., Liu, M. & Sadovy, Y. 2010. Anampses caeruleopunctatusThe IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010: e.T187716A8610799. Downloaded on 09 April 2019.

[2] Shea, Liu, and Sadovy, ‘Anampses Caeruleopunctatus. The IUCN Red List of Threatened Species 2010’.

Did you know?

The Blue-Spotted Tamarin can reach a maximum length of 42 cm.