Orangeback fairy-wrasse

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Orangeback fairy-wrasse
Scientific classification
C. aurantidorsalis
Binomial name
Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis

The orangeback fairy-wrasse, Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis, is a species of wrasse endemic to the Pacific waters of Indonesia. It inhabits coral reefs and can be found at depths from 10 to 25 m (33 to 82 ft). This species can reach a total length of 10 cm (3.9 in).[2] It can be found in the aquarium as well as ocean trade.[1]

The Fairy Wrasse fish, Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis, has many species within the genus that are found all over the world form the Pacific Ocean to the Red Sea and the Indian Ocean. The Orangeback fairy wrasses are known for their bright neon colors.1

The Orangeback Fairy Wrasses are unique in that they are mostly females in a group with generally only one male. The male is the dominant fish with the stronger colors and traits. There have been no small males that have been recorded so it is believed that all Orangeback Fairy Wrasses’ begin as females and then some females transform into males.1 The Cirrhilabrus species eats mainly Zooplankton, they have pair of teeth in the front and a set of teeth wrapped around the side which is used to break down their food.2 Orangeback Fairy wrasses are found in shallow waters mainly ranging from 10–75 feet but also can be found deeper.2 When the Fairy wrasses are found in deeper depths however, their fluorescence allows them to see wavelengths that wouldn't otherwise be available. All Fairy Wrasses have great ability to see red fluorescence which is extremely unique as most fish have poor sensitivity within this area.4 There is much still not known about Orangeback Fairy Wrasses as most of the species have not been found in the open ocean.1 However, we do know that the males and females vary significantly from how they act to their sensitivities to different colors and wavelengths.


  1. ^ a b Rocha, L. 2010. Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. Downloaded on 03 November 2013.
  2. ^ Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Cirrhilabrus aurantidorsalis" in FishBase. August 2013 version.


  1. ^ 1. Hunt, Phillip . “Cirrhilabrus: The Fairy Wrasses.” Tropical Fish Magazine , Dec. 2010, 2. “The Fairy Wrasses: Cirrhilabrus spp.” Reefkeeping , 3. “Scott's Wrasse.” Animal World, 4. Gerlach, Tobias. “Fairy wrasses perceive and respond to their deep red fluorescent coloration.” Web of Science , 22 July 2014,