Brownspotted Wrasse

Notolabrus Parilus
Brownspotted Wrasse - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Notolabrus Parilus
Other names Bluespotted Parrotfish, Brownspotted Parrotfish, Orangespotted Wrasse
Size Up to 49 cm (19.29 in)
Weight Up to 1.5 kg (3.3 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst algae covered rocks, reefs & seagrass beds
Depth Range 1 - 20 m (65 ft)
Brownspotted Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Brownspotted Wrasse is a species of marine fish found in the coastal waters of southern Australia, primarily in WA and SA.
  • Depending on their environment and diet, both male and female Brownspotted wrasse can have a brown and white coloration on their bodies with hints of green or have a greenish-grey body covered in small brown spots.
  • Brownspotted wrasses are carnivorous and feed on a variety of invertebrates, such as crabs, shrimps, molluscs and small fish.
  • The breeding season for Brownspotted Wrasse is from August to December, and the male becomes territorial. During this period they build a nest using algae and seaweed, where the female lays eggs.
  • The eggs are guarded and fanned by the male until they hatch, which usually takes around 2 weeks. Juvenile Brownspotted Wrasse feed on plankton and switch to a more carnivorous diet as they grow.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 15 years in the wild.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

The Brownspotted Wrasse is not considered a major recreational fishing species in Australia, but it is occasionally caught by recreational fishers. They are a popular species in the aquarium trade due to its attractive appearance, ease of care, and peaceful temperament. The Brownspotted Wrasse is a common sight for snorkelers and divers in southern Australia, particularly around rocky reefs and kelp forests. They are known for their curious and approachable behaviour, and will often come close to snorkelers and divers to investigate.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Notolabrus

Species: Notolabrus Parilus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Brownspotted Wrasse in Australia is considered to be of “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) Red List. This means that the species is not currently facing any significant threats to its population and is considered to have a stable and healthy population size.

Fish Taste Quality

Brownspotted wrasse is considered a good eating fish by some people who enjoy its firm white flesh and mild flavour. However, most wrasse are not a targeted fish for many Australians.

Taste Rating: 2/5

How to catch
Brownspotted Wrasse

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Not targeted

Brownspotted 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: Curious

Location: Inner Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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