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Overview

Comprehensive Description

Description: Body relatively thin, narrow and long with a large eye and a terminal, small mouth. Pectoral fins medium, reach to vent. Pelvic fins very short. Dorsal and anal-fin bases long, caudal peduncle short and relatively wide. Melanophores limited to the fin-ray membranes, typically occurring in five groups: at the front, mid, and rear dorsal fin and the front and rear anal fin. Each melanophore group covers from one to five fin spines or rays. Transitional recruits of H. garnoti develop a mid-lateral body stripe from the lower half of the eye to the tail, extending onto the base of the caudal-fin rays. There is no dorsal fin ocellus. The stripe is iridescent blue against a bright yellow body in life; in preserved specimens the stripe is underlain with fine melanophores.

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Biology

Commonly found on shallow and deep reefs and exposed rocky ledges. Feeds on various invertebrates. Forms leks during breeding (Ref. 55367). A protogynous hermaphrodite (Ref. 55367). Constantly on the move but easily attracted by divers. Generally of no interest to fisheries because of its small average size (Ref. 5217).
  • Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray 1986 A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
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Distribution

Range Description

This species is found from South Florida, USA and Bermuda to Venezuela.
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Western Atlantic: Bermuda and southern Florida, USA to southeastern Brazil.
  • Robins, C.R. and G.C. Ray 1986 A field guide to Atlantic coast fishes of North America. Houghton Mifflin Company, Boston, U.S.A. 354 p. (Ref. 7251)
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Western Atlantic.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 11; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 12
  • Smith, C.L. 1997 National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 720 p. (Ref. 26938)
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Size

Maximum size: 193 mm TL
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Max. size

19.3 cm TL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 9626))
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Diagnostic Description

Diagnosis: The fin-ray count of D-IX,11 A-III,12 and Pect-13 indicates Halichoeres and is shared by most of the Caribbean species. Larval H. garnoti are identical to most other larval Halichoeres with five patches of median-fin melanophores and can only be identified by DNA sequencing.

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Juveniles yellow with silvery blue stripe along side. Super males (terminal males), have black vertical bar behind tip of pectoral fin, merging with broad black area on upper side, continuing to top of caudal peduncle and upper caudal fin. One of the easiest wrasses to identify at all its stages (Ref. 26938).
  • Smith, C.L. 1997 National Audubon Society field guide to tropical marine fishes of the Caribbean, the Gulf of Mexico, Florida, the Bahamas, and Bermuda. Alfred A. Knopf, Inc., New York. 720 p. (Ref. 26938)
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Type Information

Type for Julis cinctus
Catalog Number: USNM 164944
Collection: Smithsonian Institution, National Museum of Natural History, Department of Vertebrate Zoology, Division of Fishes
Collector(s): F. Poey
Locality: Cuba, Greater Antilles, Caribbean Sea, Atlantic
  • Type:
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This species is reef associated and is found from 1-30 m depth. It is commonly found on shallow and deep reefs and exposed rocky ledges. It feeds on various invertebrates. It forms leks during breeding (Allsop and West 2003). It is a protogynous hermaphrodite and a monandric species (Allsop and West 2003). Length at sex change = 7.3 cm TL (Allsop and West 2003).

It is constantly on the move but easily attracted by divers. It is generally of no interest to fisheries because of its small average size (Cervigón et al. 1992).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; marine; depth range 2 - 80 m (Ref. 9710), usually 4 - 60 m (Ref. 27115)
  • Baensch, H.A. and H. Debelius 1997 Meerwasser atlas. Mergus Verlag GmbH, Postfach 86, 49302, Melle, Germany. 1216 p. 3rd edition. (Ref. 27115)
  • Lieske, E. and R. Myers 1994 Collins Pocket Guide. Coral reef fishes. Indo-Pacific & Caribbean including the Red Sea. Haper Collins Publishers, 400 p. (Ref. 9710)
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Depth range based on 70 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 66 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 2 - 43
  Temperature range (°C): 22.680 - 27.716
  Nitrate (umol/L): 0.161 - 1.844
  Salinity (PPS): 34.667 - 36.594
  Oxygen (ml/l): 4.517 - 5.007
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.038 - 0.176
  Silicate (umol/l): 0.968 - 3.167

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 2 - 43

Temperature range (°C): 22.680 - 27.716

Nitrate (umol/L): 0.161 - 1.844

Salinity (PPS): 34.667 - 36.594

Oxygen (ml/l): 4.517 - 5.007

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.038 - 0.176

Silicate (umol/l): 0.968 - 3.167
 
Note: this information has not been validated. Check this *note*. Your feedback is most welcome.

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Depth: 2 - 80m.
From 2 to 80 meters.

Habitat: reef-associated.
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Trophic Strategy

Commonly found on shallow and deep reefs and exposed rocky ledges. Feeds on various invertebrates. Mobile invertebrate feeder (Ref. 57616).
  • Randall, J.E. 1967 Food habits of reef fishes of the West Indies. Stud. Trop. Oceanogr. Miami 5:665-847. (Ref. 33)
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Monandric species (Ref. 55367). Length at sex change = 7.3 cm TL (Ref. 55367).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Barcode data: Halichoeres garnoti

The following is a representative barcode sequence, the centroid of all available sequences for this species.


There are 29 barcode sequences available from BOLD and GenBank.

Below is a sequence of the barcode region Cytochrome oxidase subunit 1 (COI or COX1) from a member of the species.

See the BOLD taxonomy browser for more complete information about this specimen and other sequences.

TTCGGCGCCTGAGCTGGGATGGTAGGCACGGCCTTA---AGCCTGCTTATTCGGGCTGAATTAAGCCAACCCGGCGCTCTCCTTGGGGAC---GATCAAATCTATAACGTAATCGTTACAGCGCATGCTTTCGTAATAATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATCGGTGGGTTCGGAAACTGACTGATTCCCCTAATG---ATTGGAGCCCCAGACATGGCCTTCCCTCGAATGAACAACATGAGCTTCTGACTACTTCCTCCCTCCTTCCTCCTACTGCTCGCCTCTTCTGGGGTTGAGGCTGGAGCCGGGACTGGTTGAACAGTTTACCCCCCTCTAGCAGGGAATCTTGCTCACGCCGGCGCATCTGTAGACTTG---ACAATTTTCTCCCTTCATTTAGCCGGTATCTCATCAATTTTAGGGGCCATTAACTTTATTACAACTATTATTAATATGAAACCTCCTGCTATTTCCCAATACCAAACCCCCCTATTTGTGTGAGCTGTACTAATTACAGCCGTCTTGCTCCTACTTTCTCTTCCCGTCCTCGCTGCC---GGGATTACAATGCTTTTAACAGACCGAAATTTAAACACCACCTTCTTTGATCCTGCAGGAGGGGGTGACCCTATTCTATACCAACATCTATTCTGATTT
-- end --

Download FASTA File

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Statistics of barcoding coverage: Halichoeres garnoti

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 51
Specimens with Barcodes: 59
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Conservation

Conservation Status

IUCN Red List Assessment


Red List Category
LC
Least Concern

Red List Criteria

Version
3.1

Year Assessed
2010

Assessor/s
Rocha, L. & Craig, M.

Reviewer/s
Liu, M. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread in the northwestern Atlantic and is common. There are no major threats known to this species. It is listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
There is no population information available for this species. It is considered to be common throughout its range. Populations throughout the range seem to be well connected genetically (Rocha 2004). The population from Bermuda has a different color pattern, but is genetically identical to the rest of the global population.

Population Trend
Unknown
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no major threats known to this species.
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Least Concern (LC)
  • IUCN 2006 2006 IUCN red list of threatened species. www.iucnredlist.org. Downloaded July 2006.
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Management

Conservation Actions

Conservation Actions
There are no specific conservation measures in place for this species. Its distribution overlaps several marine protected areas in the US and Caribbean.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

aquarium: commercial
  • Burgess, W.E., H.R. Axelrod and R.E. Hunziker III 1990 Dr. Burgess's atlas of marine aquarium fishes. T.F.H. Publications, Inc., Neptune City, New Jersey. 768 p.
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Wikipedia

Yellowhead wrasse

The yellowhead wrasse, Halichoeres garnoti, is a species of wrasse native to shallow tropical waters in the Caribbean Sea and western Atlantic Ocean.

Description[edit]

The yellowhead wrasse can grow to about 19 cm (7.5 in) in length. Both its sex and appearance change during its life and the colouring at each stage is rather variable. As a juvenile, it is mainly yellow with a lateral, bright-blue stripe. In its next phase, while it is female, it has a dark-coloured back, sometimes with bluish shadings, and a yellow underside. Two short wavy dark lines radiate from the hind edge of each eye. Later, as an adult male, the head and front part of the body are yellow, the hind half of the body is silvery grey and a vertical black bar and a broad black stripe occur along the ridge of the back. It still has the characteristic dark, wavy lines near the eye. The dorsal fin has 9 spines and 11 soft rays and the anal fin has three spines and 12 soft rays.[2][3]

Distribution[edit]

The yellowhead wrasse occurs in the western Atlantic Ocean, the Caribbean Sea, and the Gulf of Mexico. Its range extends from 32°N to 24°S, Florida and Bermuda to southern Brazil.[2]

Biology[edit]

The yellowhead wrasse is common on coral and sandy reefs and among rocks at depths down to about 80 m (260 ft). It feeds on small invertebrates including crabs, shrimps, and sea urchins. Its prominent teeth help it to grasp crustaceans and to lever prey items off rocks.[2][4]

Like many other wrasses, the yellowhead wrasse is a protogynous hermaphrodite, starting life as a female and later becoming a male, changing sex when it is about 7 cm (2.8 in) long.[2] Mature males are territorial during the breeding season and gather in a lek. A daily migration from feeding grounds to spawning sites occurs, and large males tend to monopolize mates.[5]

Ecology[edit]

The yellowhead wrasse is often found associated with foraging goatfish, Pseudupeneus maculatus and Mulloidichthys martinicus. These dig in soft substrates where they locate prey with the help of their chemosensory barbels and the yellowhead wrasse is adept at snapping up some of the disturbed invertebrates.[6] The yellowhead wrasse has also been observed to behave aggressively towards yellowhead jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons, harassing them and entering their burrows.[7]

Predatory fish that feed on the yellowhead wrasse include the Nassau grouper (Epinephelus striatus) and the mutton snapper (Lutjanus analis).[2]

Interactions with humans[edit]

The yellowhead wrasse is too small to be a sport-angling fish, but it shows an interest in divers exploring reefs.[2] It is sometimes kept in reef aquaria [8] and has been used in research.[9]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Rocha, L. & Craig, M. 2010. Halichoeres garnoti. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 09 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b c d e f Halichoeres garnoti (Valenciennes, 1839) FishBase. Retrieved 20121-04-16.
  3. ^ Yellowhead wrasse Marine Species Identification Portal. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  4. ^ Halichoeres garnoti - Yellowhead wrasse Aquafind. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  5. ^ Robertson, D. R. (1981). "The social and mating systems of two labrid fishes, Halichoeres maculipinna and H. garnoti, off the Caribbean coast of Panama". Marine Biology 64 (3): 327–340. doi:10.1007/BF00393634. 
  6. ^ Aronson, R. B.; Sanderson, S. L. (1987). "Benefits of heterospecific foraging by the Caribbean wrasse, Halichoeres garnoti (Pisces: Labridae)". Environmental Biology of Fishes 18 (4): 303–308. doi:10.1007/BF00004883. 
  7. ^ Colin, P. L. (1971). "Interspecific Relationships of the Yellowhead Jawfish, Opistognathus aurifrons (Pisces, Opistognathidae)". Copeia 1971: 469–473. doi:10.2307/1442443. 
  8. ^ Genus Halichoeres WetWebMedia. Retrieved 2012-04-16.
  9. ^ Gerhart, Donald J. (1984). "Prostaglandin A2, an agent of chemical defense in the Caribbean gorgonian Plexaura homomalla". Marine Ecology - Progress Series 19: 181–187. doi:10.3354/meps019181. 
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