- The Birdnose Wrasse is found in the waters around Australia, including the Great Barrier Reef, the Coral Sea, and other areas of the Indo-Pacific region. They are commonly found in the waters around New South Wales, Queensland, Western Australia, and the Northern Territory.
- They are colourful fish, with males displaying a blue-green coloration on their backs, and females having a brownish coloration with a pink stripe along the lateral line.
- Birdnose Wrasse are carnivorous and feed primarily on small crustaceans and other invertebrates.
- They are considered to be a highly active and agile swimmer, capable of darting in and out of coral heads and crevices with ease.
- Birdnose Wrasse are often seen swimming alone or in small groups, and are known to be territorial, particularly towards other wrasse species.
- They have been observed engaging in a range of interesting behaviours, such as using their long beak to flip over rocks in search of prey.
- During breeding season, the males will display vivid colours, with blue-green bands on their head and body, and their tail fin becoming bright yellow.
- Breeding occurs during the November to February period and the male displays vivid colours to attract a mate, which he then fertilises externally while swimming together, and the fertilised eggs hatch into planktonic larvae.
- Estimated lifespan is up to 30 years.
Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving
The Birdnose Wrasse can be observed in the wild by snorkelers and divers, as they are active swimmers that are commonly found in shallow waters on coral reefs, often swimming in and out of caves and crevices. They are known to be territorial and may be curious towards human observers, making them a popular species to observe in their natural habitat. They are often caught by recreational anglers as bycatch and released back into the water.
Species: Gomphosus Varius
The Birdnose Wrasse is not considered to be an endangered species and is listed as a species of Least Concern on the IUCN Red List. In Australia, the species is not listed as threatened under the EPBC Act.
Fish Taste Quality
Birdnose wrasse are considered to be okay eating fish. They have firm, white flesh that is said to be mild and slightly sweet in flavour. But are considered bycatch and more often released.
Taste Rating: 2/5
How to catch
Catch Difficulty: Easy
Tackle: Running Sinker Rig
Bait: Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid
Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Keep bait close to the reef/structure
Popularity: Not targeted - Bycatch
- Snorkeling & Scuba
Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon