Black Leopard Wrasse

Macropharyngodon Negrosensis
Black Leopard Wrasse - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Macropharyngodon Negrosensis
Other names Black Wrasse
Size Up to 12 cm (4.72 in)
Weight Under 100 grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst sandy & rubble areas of coral reefs
Depth Range 1 - 30 m (98 ft)
Black Leopard Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Black Leopard Wrasse is a species of marine fish that is endemic to Australia. They inhabit the northern coast of Australia, from Western Australia to Queensland.
  • They are a small and slender fish with a distinct black leopard-like pattern on its body. The species has a rounded head, small mouth, and a single dorsal fin with sharp spines. The background colour of the body can vary from pale blue to light green, and the leopard-like spots on the body can range from dark brown to black.
  • Male Black Leopard Wrasse have more vibrant colours and patterns than females, with bright blue spots on the head and bright orange-red stripes on the fins.
  • They are a carnivorous fish that feeds primarily on small invertebrates such as crustaceans and molluscs.
  • The Black Leopard Wrasse is a protogynous hermaphrodite that starts life as a female and can later transform into a male. During mating season, males display their vibrant colours and patterns to attract females, establish territories, and mate. The female releases her eggs, and the male fertilises them externally. The eggs hatch into larvae and float freely in the water.
  • The species is known to be solitary, but can occasionally be found in pairs.
  • Estimated lifespan is between 5 – 7 years.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

The Black Leopard Wrasse is a popular choice for aquarium enthusiasts due to its striking appearance and interesting behaviour. They are generally considered to be a hardy species to care for. They are also a fascinating species to observe in the wild, because of their colourful appearance and peaceful manner making them a favourite among divers and snorkelers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Macropharyngodon

Species: Macropharyngodon Negrosensis

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Black Leopard Wrasse in Australia is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This means that the species is not considered to be in danger of extinction in the wild.

Black Leopard Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Easy to moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 80 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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