Pteragogus cryptus

Cryptic Wrasse | Sneaky Wrasse
Pteragogus cryptus
Pteragogus cryptus, juvenile, Tanzania, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Pteragogus cryptus
Pteragogus cryptus, Raja Ampat, Indonesia, Photo: Andrew Green
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Pteragogus cryptus
Pteragogus cryptus


Tropical Indo-Pacific


Small cryptic wrasse with a high, mottled red-brown body, ocellus on operculum which becomes oblong with age, and a white line which passes from snout, above eye and a short distance onto the body. Distinguished from P. enneacanthus (Cockerel Wrasse) by dorsal spine (10) and soft ray (10) counts, although white line above eye useful for young individuals. Best identified by photo showing dorsal fin splayed.


Max Size: 10 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 24.2-31.3°C

Depth: 2-67m

Habitat Generalization Index: 4.51

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 (4.2% 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 (2 per transect)

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

Edit by: RD Stuart-Smith, GJ Edgar, AJ Green, IV Shaw. 2015. Tropical Marine Fishes of Australia. Reed New Holland