Bluetail Wrasse

Anampses Femininus
Bluetail Wrasse - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Anampses Femininus
Other names Bluestriped Orange Tamarin, Feminine Wrasse, South Seas Wrasse
Size Up to 24 cm (9.4 in)
Weight Under .50 kg (1.1 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, coral & rocky reefs
Depth Range 2 - 20 m (65 ft)
Bluetail Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • Bluetail Wrasse are found along the entire length of the Great Barrier Reef, from the northernmost parts of Queensland to the southern regions of the reef and down in to parts of northern New South Wales.
  • Bluetail Wrasse exhibit distinct sexual dimorphism. Males are brightly coloured, with a vibrant blue body, yellow head, and black markings on the dorsal and anal fins. Females, on the other hand, have a duller appearance with a Gray-brown body and a yellow tail.
  • Bluetail Wrasse are known to engage in cooperative hunting behaviour. They form small groups, often consisting of one male and multiple females, to search for food together. This social behaviour increases their hunting success and provides additional protection against predators.
  • They are carnivores and their diet primarily consists of small invertebrates, including crustaceans, molluscs, and worms. They use their protractile jaws to snatch prey from crevices and gaps in the reef.
  • Like many other reef fish, Bluetail Wrasse have the ability to rapidly change their coloration. They can adjust their hues and patterns to match their surroundings, aiding in camouflage and protection from predators.
  • During the breeding season, which occurs from late spring to early summer, males undergo a fascinating transformation called protogynous hermaphroditism. Initially, they are born as females and later transition into males. This change is triggered by social cues and the absence of dominant males in a given area.
  • Bluetail Wrasse breed through external fertilisation, where females release eggs into the water column, and dominant males simultaneously release sperm to fertilise the eggs.
  • They have an estimated lifespan between 5 – 8 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

Bluetail Wrasse are not targeted for recreational fishing, they may be incidentally caught by anglers targeting other species. They are often a catch and release species in Australia. As an aquarium fish, they are highly prized for their stunning coloration and active swimming behaviour. Their incredible colours and active swimming also makes them a popular fish to seek out for snorkelers and divers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Anampses

Species: Anampses Femininus

Conservation Status

In terms of conservation status in Australia, the Bluetail Wrasse is currently listed as a species of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). This indicates that they are not currently facing any significant threats to their population.

Fish Taste Quality

Bluetail Wrasse are a edible fish, however it is not widely consumed in Australia. It is often described as being similar to other reef fish species.

Taste Rating: 2/5

How to catch
Bluetail Wrasse

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Shellfish, Squid, Worms

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Not targeted - Bycatch

Bluetail Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 80 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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