Distribution and habitat
This tropical species of wrasse is native to the Indian Ocean, from East Africa south to Natal, South Africa, and east to the Andaman Sea. It occurs on rocky reefs and coral, especially in coral-rich areas of lagoon and seaward reefs.
Gomphosus caeruleus can reach a length of about 32 centimetres (13 in). Body is oval, rather elongated and laterally compressed. In adult specimens the snout is very long. This species has 8 dorsal spines, 13 dorsal soft rays, 3 anal spines and 11 anal soft ray. The basic coloration is blue with lighter fins in males. In females, however, the snout is brown above and white below, the back is gray and the belly, the anal fin and the caudal fin are yellow. It looks very similar to the congener Gomphosus varius, with which it is often confused, but it can be distinguished by the coloration and the distribution.
It feeds on small invertebrates.
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