Overview

Comprehensive Description

Biology

This schooling, territorial fish occurs in the littoral zone, near rocks and eel-grass beds, also in lagoons. In summer ripe females show short ovipositor. Seaweed nest built by male among rocks or in crevices. Sex reversal sometimes observed. Feed on mollusks, hydroids, bryozoans, worms and various crustaceans (Ref. 4742). Males grow faster than females (Ref. 4742). Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205).
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Description

 Body deep and compressed sideways with a single long dorsal fin. Maximum length 25 cm but usually less than 15 cm. Colour highly variable and depends on background and age of individual. Females and juveniles tend to be brown or greenish-brown, males are typically more brightly coloured. Both sexes have lines on the head and gill covers which are brown and pale blue in the female, bright green or blue in the male. All corkwing wrasse have a black spot in the middle of the tail stalk and a comma shaped spot behind the eye.Males build an elaborate nest of seaweed in either rock crevices or amongst seaweed or seagrasses in sediment areas. The nests are a ball or mound with an entrance hole, which the males aggressively guard. The distinctive tail spot and mark behind the eye may fade in captive individuals.
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Description

The corkwing is a deep bodied wrasse with large scales that extend on to the cheeks below the eyes. It is a relatively small wrasse with adult fish reaching a maximum length of 25cm. The coloration varies with age, sex and breeding season. The females are usually a greenish-reddish brown whilst males are dark reddish-brown with irridescent green-blue lines on their cheeks and gill covers. In the breeding season the males have blue spots on their fins and the centres of the scales are bright green or blue. All corkwings have a characteristic black spot in the middle of the tail stalk and a dark, comma-shaped mark behind each eye. The corkwing is most likely to be confused with small ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) and rock cooks (Centrolabrus exoletus) however neither of these two species have a dark comma-shaped mark behind the eye or a black spot on the tail stalk.
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Distribution

Range Description

In the Eastern Atlantic, this species is present from southern Norway to northern Morocco, including much of the Baltic Sea, and around the United Kingdom, Ireland, and the Azores Islands. In the Mediterranean Sea, it is present in the western and north-eastern Mediterranean basins, the Levantine Sea and the Adriatic Sea.
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Eastern Atlantic: Norway to Morocco and the Azores. Also known from the western Mediterranean and Adriatic seas.
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Baltic Sea, North Sea, Mediterranean Sea, eastern Atlantic: Norway to Morocco and the Azores.
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The corkwing wrasse is widespread all around the coasts of Britain and Ireland.
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Physical Description

Morphology

Dorsal spines (total): 14 - 17; Dorsal soft rays (total): 8 - 10; Analspines: 3; Analsoft rays: 8 - 11
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Size

Maximum size: 280 mm SL
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Max. size

28.0 cm SL (male/unsexed; (Ref. 4742)); max. reported age: 9 years (Ref. 4742)
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Diagnostic Description

A few cephalic pores (7-12) on snout. Lips with 5-7 folds. Scales on temporo-occipital surface 3-5 rows; on inter-operculum 2-3 (6-13) scales; on cheek 4-7; behind eye 1. A small dark spot on caudal peduncle. Often 5 large brown blotches near dorsal fin. Females and young: with numerous spots on body more or less longitudinally lined, some sinuous lines on head (Ref. 231). Coloration very variable; ground color of the male is greenish or blue while females are brownish to yellowish (Ref. 35388).
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Ecology

Habitat

Habitat and Ecology

Habitat and Ecology
This schooling, territorial fish occurs around rocks, rocky reefs and seagrass beds, and also in coastal lagoon habitats. It feeds on molluscs, hydroids, bryozoans, worms and crustaceans (Quignard and Pras 1986).

There is a clear sexual dimorphism, and this species is probably a protogynous hermaphrodite. The male constructs a nest of seaweed amongst rocks or in rock crevices, in which the adhesive eggs are laid (Golani et al. 2006).

Systems
  • Marine
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Environment

reef-associated; non-migratory; marine, usually 1 - 30 m (Ref. 35388)
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Depth range based on 5197 specimens in 1 taxon.
Water temperature and chemistry ranges based on 25 samples.

Environmental ranges
  Depth range (m): 0.6 - 119
  Temperature range (°C): 11.353 - 12.243
  Nitrate (umol/L): 5.275 - 6.816
  Salinity (PPS): 34.827 - 35.352
  Oxygen (ml/l): 6.095 - 6.278
  Phosphate (umol/l): 0.399 - 0.559
  Silicate (umol/l): 2.442 - 4.063

Graphical representation

Depth range (m): 0.6 - 119

Temperature range (°C): 11.353 - 12.243

Nitrate (umol/L): 5.275 - 6.816

Salinity (PPS): 34.827 - 35.352

Oxygen (ml/l): 6.095 - 6.278

Phosphate (umol/l): 0.399 - 0.559

Silicate (umol/l): 2.442 - 4.063
 
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 On rocky shores amongst seaweed and in lower shore pools, extending sublittorally to depths of up to 50 m.
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Depth: 1 - 30m.
From 1 to 30 meters.

Habitat: demersal.
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This species is usually found in seaweed covered rockpools or amongst seaweed covered rocks in the sublittoral down to a depth of 30m. Juvenile fish are also found in sea grass beds. The diet consists mainly of molluscs and small crustaceans although juveniles have also been observed to act as cleaners of large fish.
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Trophic Strategy

More or less gregarious, old and young specimens mixed. Feeds mainly on bivalves (Ref. 46112).
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Life History and Behavior

Life Cycle

Sex reversal sometimes observed. Seaweed nest built by male among rocks or in crevices (Ref. 4742). Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205).
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Molecular Biology and Genetics

Molecular Biology

Statistics of barcoding coverage: Symphodus melops

Barcode of Life Data Systems (BOLDS) Stats
Public Records: 4
Specimens with Barcodes: 4
Species With Barcodes: 1
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Barcode data: Symphodus melops

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


There is 1 barcode sequence available from BOLD and GenBank.   Below is the 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.  Other sequences that do not yet meet barcode criteria may also be available.

AAAGATATTGGCACCCTCTATCTCGTATTTGGTGCTTGAGCCGGAATAGTGGGCACCGCCCTA---AGCCTGCTTATCCGAGCAGAACTAAGCCAGCCTGGCGCCCTCCTTGGGGAC---GACCAAATCTACAATGTAATCGTGACGGCCCACGCCTTCGTTATGATTTTCTTTATAGTAATACCAATTATGATCGGAGGTTTCGGAAACTGGCTCATTCCTCTAATG---ATTGGAGCCCCCGACATGGCCTTTCCTCGAATGAACAATATGAGCTTCTGACTCCTCCCTCCCTCGTTCCTTCTCCTCCTTGCCTCTTCCGGCGTGGAAGCAGGGGCCGGCACCGGCTGAACAGTATACCCGCCTTTAGCTGGGAATCTTGCCCACGCAGGAGCATCCGTCGACTTA---ACTATCTTTTCCCTCCACCTGGCAGGAATCTCCTCAATCCTTGGCGCAATTAATTTTATTACCACCATCATTAACATGAAGCCCCCTGCGATCTCACAATATCAGACTCCACTGTTCGTCTGAGCCGTTCTAATTACCGCTGTTCTCCTTCTTCTATCCCTCCCCGTCCTTGCAGCC---GGCATTACAATACTTCTCACAGATCGAAACCTCAATACCACCTTTTTTGATCCTGCAGGCGGAGGAGATCCAATTCTTTATCAA
-- end --

Download FASTA File
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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
Pollard, D.

Reviewer/s
Sadovy, Y. & Carpenter, K.E.

Contributor/s

Justification
This species is widespread off the Atlantic coastlines of western Europe, and present throughout much of the Mediterranean Sea. There are no known major threats to this species, and though there is little specific population information available, overall its populations are thought to be stable. It is therefore listed as Least Concern.
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Population

Population
There is very little population information available for this species. It is primarily a colder-water Eastern Atlantic species, and therefore is more common in the western part of the Mediterranean Sea. Its abundance varies throughout the remainder of the Mediterranean Sea (D. Pollard pers. comm. 2008).

Population Trend
Stable
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Threats

Major Threats
There are no known major threats to this species, although it is sometimes caught as bycatch in local fisheries and sold for food.
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Least Concern (LC)
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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 within its range.
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Relevance to Humans and Ecosystems

Benefits

Importance

fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes; aquarium: public aquariums
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Wikipedia

Corkwing wrasse

The corkwing wrasse, Symphodus melops, is a species of wrasse native to the eastern Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Morocco and out to the Azores, as well as being found in the Mediterranean Sea and the Adriatic Sea. This species can be found in areas of rock or eelgrass at depths from 1 to 30 m (3.3 to 98 ft).[2]

Description[edit]

Its body is deep and compressed sideways, with a single, long dorsal fin. It is usually about 15 cm (5.9 in) long, but has reached 25 cm (9.8 in).

It is highly variable in colour, depending on the environment and age of the fish. The corkwing wrasse has a black spot in the middle of the tail stalk, and a comma-shaped spot behind the eye. Females and juveniles tend to be brown or greenish-brown, while the males are typically more brightly coloured. Both sexes have lines on their heads and gill covers which are brown and pale blue in the female, and bright green or blue in the male.

It feeds on a large variety of prey, but mainly bivalves and copepods.

Reproduction[edit]

The males exhibit dimorphism, where the territorial males build a ball-shaped nest of seaweed in rock crevices or sedimentary areas, amongst seaweed or seagrasses. The nest has an entrance hole which the male guards aggressively. The other morph mimics the females and tries to sneak-fertilize. The sneakers are much smaller than the territorial males, and cannot be visually distinguished from females. As there is a trade-off between reproductive investment and growth, the sneakers have much larger gonads related to body size than the territorial males. Their sperm quality is also shown to be better for the sneaker, as it is longer-lived. About 5 - 20% of the males in a population tend to be sneakers.

Importance[edit]

The fish has been commercially used since 1988 because of its ability to remove parasites from other fish. It is today heavily fished and one may say exploited for the use in aquaculture to remove salmon louse (Lepeophtheirus salmonis).

References[edit]

  1. ^ Pollard, D. 2010. Symphodus melops. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. <www.iucnredlist.org>. Downloaded on 17 November 2013.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Symphodus melops" in FishBase. October 2013 version.
  • Deady, S., Varian, S. J. A. and Fives, J. M. (1995) The use of cleaner-fish to control sea lice on two Irish salmon (Salmo salar) farms with particular reference to wrasse behaviour in salmon cages. Aquaculture. 131: 73-90.
  • Potts, G.W. (1973) Cleaning symbiosis among British fish with special reference to Crenilabrus melops (Labridae). J. mar. biol. asso. UK. 53: 1-10.
  • Potts, G.W. (1985) The nest structure of the corkwing wrasse, Crenilabrus melops (Labridae: Teleostei). J. mar. biol. ass. UK. 65: 531-546.
  • Sayer, M. D. J., Gibson, R. N. and Atkinson, R. J. A. (1996) Growth, diet and condition of the corkwing wrasse and rock cook on the west coast of Scotland. J. Fish. Biol. 49(1): 76-94.
  • Uglem, I., Rosenqvist, G. and Wasslavik, H. S. (2000) Phenotypic variation between dimorphic males in corkwing wrasse. J. Fish. Biol. 57: 1-14.
  • Uglem, I., Mayer, I. and Rosenqvist, G. (2002) Variation in Plasma Steroids and Reproductive Traits in Dimorphic Males of Corkwing Wrasse (Symphodus melops L.). Hormones and behavior. 41(4): 396-404.
  • Uglem, I. & Rosenqvist, G. (2002) Nest Building and Mating in Relation to Male Size in Corkwing Wrasse, Symphodus Melops. Environmental Biology of Fishes. 63(1): 17-25.
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