Cheilinus undulatus Specimen

Tags: Cheilinus undulatus | fish | Humphead Wrasse | Maori Wrasse | Napoleon Wrasse

Cheilinus undulatus is also known as Napoleon Wrasse, Humphead Wrasse, or Maori Wrasse. It inhabits steep reef slopes, channel slopes, and reef lagoons 2-60 meters under water. Usually solitary, and occasionally found in pairs. A large-sized member of the Labridae family. They are gentle and friendly to human beings. They are carnivores and feed on fish and benthic animals. Distributed in the Indo-Pacific, from the Red Sea to South Africa to Tuamoto Islands, north to the Ryukyu islands and Taiwan, and south to New Caledonia. The name “Napoleon Wrasse” refers to the species’ humped head, which resembles the hat worn by Napoleon Bonaparte. Commonly found in aquariums. As reported by Gomon, M.F. and J.E. Randall in 1984, the fish’s flesh may contain Ciguatoxin, which could cause food poisoning (referred to as “ciguatera poisoning”) after being consumed. Since the toxin builds up along the food chain, the toxicity depends on the size of the fish. In addition, the toxicity of coral reef fish varies with regions. Accordingly, the same species may be edible in some regions but toxic in others. The fish used to be an important source of food to southern islanders, but is now very rare due to over-fishing. The species is on the conservation list of an international covenant. IUCN status: Endangered A2bd+3bd 2004/4/30 IUCN Serranidae Labridae specialists. (Archeved by Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica)

Biodiversity Research Center, Academia Sinica