Green birdmouth wrasse Gomphosus caeruleus

  • Fringing Reef
  • Wrasses
  • Lagoon coral patches
  • Fauna


The Gomphosus caeruleus, of the order of Perciformes and family of Labridae (Wrasses) is commonly known as the Bird wrasse, Birdfish, Blue green bird wrasse, Checkerboard wrasse, Green birdmouth wrasse, Indian Ocean bird wrasse. It possesses a distinguishable long snout. Colour varies according to geographical location. The initial colour phase of females is of a bluish grey to reddish brown body with a white or yellow abdomen. It has a longitudinal series of brown spots on the scales on the posterior side of the body. It also has a brown or red line from the upper lip to the eye. In male’s terminal colour phase, the body is uniformly blue or blue green. And its fins are pale turquoise or pale green[1]. It has a total of 8 dorsal spines, 13 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 11 anal soft rays[2].


[1] ‘Gomphosus Caeruleus | DORIS’.

[2] ‘Gomphosus Caeruleus Summary Page’.

Habitat and ecology

This species is present across the Indo-Pacific region. It is found in coral rich areas and near seaward reefs. Recorded depth range is between 1 to 35m. It is usually a solitary species but distinct pairing occurs during breeding. Its diet consists of invertebrates. The ecology of this species is poorly known.


Conservation and management

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


[1] ‘Gomphosus Caeruleus’.

Did you know?

This species can reach a maximum recorded length of 32cm.