Thalassoma purpureum

Surge wrasse | Green-blocked Wrasse | Purple Wrasse | Red And Green Wrasse
Thalassoma purpureum
Thalassoma purpureum, male, NSW, Australia, Photo: Rick Stuart-Smith
Thalassoma purpureum
Thalassoma purpureum, female, Lord Howe Is, Australia, Photo: Ian Shaw
Thalassoma purpureum
Thalassoma purpureum, female, Niue, Photo: Graham Edgar
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Thalassoma purpureum
Thalassoma purpureum
Thalassoma purpureum


Temperate Africa, Temperate northern Pacific, Tropical Eastern Pacific, Tropical Indo-Pacific


Brightly coloured male distinguished from T. quinquevittatum by deeper body, and from T. trilobatum by mask pattern on face. Females difficult to distinguish, but 'v' shaped marks on snout usually present in this species, but not in T. trilobatum.


Max Size: 46 cm

Sea Temperature Range: 19.1-29.7°C

Depth: 0-10 m

Habitat Generalization Index: 13.31

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: 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