Halichoeres margaritaceus

Pearly wrasse | Pearl-spotted Wrasse | Pink-belly Wrasse | Reef-flat Wrasse | Saddled Rainbowfish | Weedy Surge Wrasse
Halichoeres margaritaceus
Halichoeres margaritaceus, male, Photo: Ian Shaw
Halichoeres margaritaceus
Halichoeres margaritaceus, Coral Sea, Australia, Photo: Graham Edgar
Halichoeres margaritaceus
Halichoeres margaritaceus, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Halichoeres margaritaceus
Halichoeres margaritaceus
Halichoeres margaritaceus


Temperate Australasia, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Males green with pink/red mottling on body and lines on face, yellowish belly, black spot in centre of dorsal fin, curved pink line around a horizontal bar on cheek distinguishes this species from similarly marked species. Females olivaceous with irregular white spots on back, white belly with a broad, oblique, pink band between pelvic and anal fins, ocellus in middle of dorsal fin, and a black patch behind eye. Sub-adult males with large black patch on side.


Max Size: 13 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.3-29.8°C

Depth: 1-15m

Habitat Generalization Index: 7.17

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: Infrequent (5.5% 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: Several (8 per transect)

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

Edit by: Joe Shields