Named for its profile reminiscent of a French military cap, this fish is also known as the Humphead, and Maori wrasse (for its intricate cheek designs that look tattooed), and, because of its enormous size, Truck wrasse. The largest of all the wrasses, males can grow more than six feet in length and weigh over 300 pounds. In common with many other large Indo-Pacific reef fishes, it has been over-exploited by Chinese restaurants that serve live fishes. Trade of this animal is protected under CITES.
Comb wrasses are named for the comb-like markings on their side. These fish are rarely displayed in public aquariums. The DWA has displayed this species since 1994. This sub tropical fish can be found in coastal waters of Southeastern Australia, Lord Howe Island, and New South Wales. It feeds on small crabs and shrimp and the juveniles may clean other fishes.
While juvenile and adult Harlequin tusk fish look very similar to each other, many other wrasses undergo astounding transformations as they reach maturity. As a juvenile, this Indo-Pacific species presents a dainty appearance, with a lacy-looking pattern and fins. The formidable adults are powerful fish that work in teams, taking turns lifting rocks and coral and grabbing the animals they find.
This wrasse stands out in a family well known for garish patterns and colors. Its blue teeth accent the startling combination of red, white, and yellow. It can be found from Japan to Australia, where it is sometimes called a Macaw fish. Until the 1970s it was very rare in aquariums. For a large wrasse, it is rather well behaved in community displays.
Though dwarfed by its six-foot long, 300-pound Pacific relative, the Napoleon wrasse, at nearly three feet, and over 20 pounds, the hogfish is the largest wrasse in the Caribbean. Like the Napoleon Wrasse, it is threatened by overfishing. Considered delicious, it is a prime target for spear fisherman. It is classified as Vulnerable to Extinction over its range from Bermuda to Brazil. It remains abundant in some habitats, such as the Florida Keys. Its powerful jaws and teeth equip it to consume crabs, sea urchins and mollusks.