Humphead Wrasse

The humphead wrasse has large, plump lips that make this fish the perfect creature to control the growth of toxic and spiny reef creatures. The lips seem to absorb the spines of its prey so that the fish can chew its victim without hurting itself.


  • The humphead wrasse is most recognized by a large hump on its head right above its eyes. This hump becomes more prominent with age.
  • Males are blue or green, but females are shades of red, brown, or gray.
  • It is among the largest of the reef fishes.

Fun Facts

  • This fish is also known as the Napoleon wrasse or Napoleonfish.
  • It often has a “home” cave or crevice where it sleeps or enters when pursued.
  • The humphead wrasse can change sex from female to male.

CLASS: Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes)
ORDER: Perciformes (perch-like fishes)
FAMILY: Labridae (wrasses)
GENUS/SPECIES: Cheilinus undulatus

Size: Up to 7.5 ft (2.3 m)
Diet: Fish, mollusks, and sea urchins
Habitat: Tropical waters of the Pacific Ocean, the Indian Ocean, and the Red Sea