Broomtail wrasse

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Broomtail wrasse
Broomtail wrasse cheilinus lunulatus.JPG
Male, Dahab, Egypt
Labridae - Cheilinus lunulatus.jpg
Female, Sharm el Sheik, Egypt
Scientific classification
C. lunulatus
Binomial name
Cheilinus lunulatus
(Forsskål, 1775)
  • Labrus lunulatus Forsskål, 1775

The broomtail wrasse (Cheilinus lunulatus) is a species of wrasse native to the Red Sea and Indian Ocean.


Cheilinus lunulatus can reach an average length of about 35 cm (14 in), with a maximum of 50 cm (20 in) in males. In adults, the head is large and bright green, with small spots. The lips are large and blue. The pectoral fins are yellow, while the abdominal, the anal, and caudal fins are dark blue. The body is yellow-green in the middle and dark purple in the other part. Close to the operculum is a characteristic bright-yellow marking on a black background. It has a long fringed caudal fin, resembling an old broom (hence the common name). Females and juveniles show large, dark stripes on their flanks. This wrasse feeds mainly on molluscs and hard-shelled invertebrates. It is oviparous.


This species occurs in the Red Sea to the Gulf of Oman (mainly near Djibouti, Eritrea, the Seychelles, and Somalia). In the Indo-Pacific, it is replaced by the closely related Cheilinus trilobatus.


Broomtail wrasses can be found on coral reefs and on adjacent sand and seagrass habitats, at depths of from 2 to 30 m (6.6 to 98.4 ft).


  1. ^ Choat, J.H. 2010. Cheilinus lunulatus. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. < Archived June 27, 2014, at the Wayback Machine>. Downloaded on 02 November 2013.