Wild Harris

Cuckoo Wrasse

Many people seeing a male cuckoo wrasse for the first time will think its a tropical fish! With its gold and electric blue colouration it must be the most colourful fish in our waters. You will however never see a small male cuckoo wrasse. Female cuckoo wrasse are pink in colour with a black and white stripe near the tail, and live together in a group with a single male. When the male dies, the largest of the females gradually becomes blue and gold – that’s right, it has changed from being a female to a male! Other wrasse are able to change sex like this, but its most noticeable in this species because the males and females look so different.

cuckoo wrasse.jpgCuckoo Wrasse    (Photo: Paul Tyler)


A male cuckoo wrasse displays dazzling electric colours

female cuckoo wrasse.jpgFemale Cuckoo Wrasse    (Photo: Paul Tyler)


Although it looks quite different to the male, this female cuckoo wrasse may one day turn into one!

cuckoo wrasse closeup.jpgMale Cuckoo Wrasse    (Photo: Paul Tyler)


With such bright colours the male cuckoo wrasse could be mistaken for a tropical fish.

by Paul Tyler

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