Halichoeres hortulanus

Checkerboard wrasse | Chequered Wrasse | Fourspot Wrasse | Wall Wrasse
Halichoeres hortulanus
Halichoeres hortulanus, female, NSW, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Halichoeres hortulanus
Halichoeres hortulanus, male, Bali, Indonesia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Halichoeres hortulanus
Halichoeres hortulanus, male, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Halichoeres hortulanus
Halichoeres hortulanus, juvenile, NSW, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
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Halichoeres hortulanus
Halichoeres hortulanus
Halichoeres hortulanus
Halichoeres hortulanus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Males green with dark blue scale centres forming a chequered pattern on sides, green head with red broken stripes, broad light bar behind pectoral fin, blue tail and yellow spot on back below start of dorsal fin. Female with vertical rectangular black streaks on scales creating a black and white chequered patter on upper sides, rectangular marks giving way to fine spots lower down the body, two yellow blotches and large black blotch on back, yellow head with pink lines and yellow dorsal and tail fins. Juveniles with mottled black and white bands, yellow blotches around head, yellow edged occulls on dorsal fin and a yellow tail.


Max Size: 27 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 22.7-31.2°C

Depth: 1-30 m

Habitat Generalization Index: 25.43

Also referred to as the SGI (Species Generalisation Index), this describes the habitat niche breadth of the species. Species with values less than 15 are found in a relatively narrow range of reef habitat types (specialists), while those over 25 may be found on most hard substrates within their range (generalists). Learn more here.

Conservation and Rarity

IUCN Status: Least Concern

Occurrence: Common (44.7% of sites)

Occurrence describes how often the species is found on surveys within its distribution. It is calculated as the % of reef sites surveyed by RLS divers across all the ecoregions in which the species has been observed

Abundance: Few (4 per transect)

Abundance is calculated as the average number of individuals recorded per RLS transect, where present.

Edit by: Joe Shields