Halichoeres rubrovirens

Common Name

Trindade Wrasse

Year Described

Rocha, Pinheiro & Gasparini, 2010


Dorsal Fin: IX, 10-11
Anal Fin: III, 12
Pectoral Fin: 13
Lateral Line Scales: 25-27
Gill Rakers: 12-17 (first arch)
Vertebrae: 24 total
Caudal Rays: 18 principal

Body slender and moderately compressed. Snout pointed. Dorsal and ventral profile convex. Mouth terminal and almost horizontal. Eye small and higher on head. A pair of canines at front of upper jaw. Body fully scaled. Scales around caudal peduncle 13-14. No scales on head, opercle or cheek. Dorsal fin long and low with origin above opercular margin. Anal fin origin close to midbody under first dorsal soft ray. Caudal fin truncate. Lateral line with a small anterior arch and straight posteriorly.


Terminal Phase: Color varies from pale green, emerald green, or olive green with numerous lines of salmon-red spots following scale rows. Several irregular stripes on the head are salmon-red: one from the eye to the upper jaw, one across the cheek, and three radiating from the rear of the eye. Dorsal fin olive green with a single purple to pink stripe and a blue margin. Anal fin olive green with two purple to bluish stripes and a thin blue margin. Caudal fin olive with purplish to pinkish lines in a complex reticulate pattern and a blue margin. Pectoral fin with a small blue-green spot at the base and a blackish tip. Initial Phase: similar in color to the terminal male but usually less colorful (pale green with pale pink spotting and/or stripes). There are often two somewhat solid pink stripes: one on dorsal midline and one lateral. Juvenile: Reddish with two black lateral stripes and one stripe along dorsal midline. Interspaces about equal to stripe width. Median fins dark with reddish and yellow lines.


Maximum size to 23.1cm SL.


Captured over rocky reefs from 6-25m. Juveniles may mimic other wrasse species.


Endemic to the Trindade Island complex, Brazil.


Rocha, L.A., Pinheiro, H.T. & J.L. Gasparini. 2010. Description of Halichoeres rubrovirens, a new species of wrasse (Labridae: Perciformes) from the Trindade and Martin Vaz Island group, southeastern Brazil, with a preliminary mtDNA molecular phylogeny of New World Halichoeres. Zootaxa, 2422(1), 22-30.

Wainwright, P.C., Santini, F., Bellwood, D.R., Robertson, D.R., Rocha, L.A. & M.E. Alfaro. 2018. Phylogenetics and geography of speciation in New World Halichoeres wrasses. Molecular Phylogenetics and Evolution, 121, 35-45.

Other Notes

A unique species in the western Atlantic most closely related to the eastern Pacific Halichoeres notospilus than other western Atlantic species (Wainwright et al., 2018). It’s closest Atlantic relative is H. bivittatus. It is dramatically different in color pattern from any New World Halichoeres.