- The Celebes Maori Wrasse is commonly found in Western Australia, particularly in the northern region. There are also reports of them being found in parts of the Northern Territory and Queensland.
- Celebes Maori Wrasses have a vibrant and distinctive coloration. They display a reddish-brown or yellowish-brown body with white to pale-yellow ventral regions. Their head features a prominent hump, and they have intricate patterns and streaks of blue, green, and purple on their body and fins.
- Celebes Maori Wrasses have a diverse diet, feeding on a variety of prey such as small fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and sea urchins.
- As predators, Celebes Maori Wrasses play an important ecological role in coral reef ecosystems. They help regulate prey populations, contributing to the balance and health of the reef ecosystem.
- They are known to exhibit complex social behaviours. They establish territories and engage in hierarchical structures, with larger and more dominant individuals occupying prime locations within the reef.
- The Celebes Maori Wrasse is a protogynous hermaphrodite, starting their lives as females and transitioning to males as they grow larger. Breeding usually occurs during the warmer months of the year.
- They have estimated lifespan between 5 – 10 years.
Recreational Fishing, Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving
The Celebes Maori Wrasse is not specifically targeted for recreational fishing, they can occasionally be caught as bycatch. They are occasionally available in the aquarium trade, favoured for their colours, small size and active swimming behaviour. They can be a fascinating sight for snorkelers and divers, known to be curious and approachable, often allowing for close encounters.
Species: Oxycheilinus Celebicus
The conservation status of the Celebes Maori Wrasse in Australia is currently listed as “Least Concern” according to the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, localised threats, such as overfishing or habitat degradation, can still impact their populations.
How to catch
Celebes Maori Wrasse
Catch Difficulty: Easy
Tackle: Running Sinker Rig
Bait: Crab, Fresh cut flesh baits, Pilchards, Prawns, Squid, Worms
Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure
Popularity: Not targeted - Bycatch
Celebes Maori Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish
Care Level: Moderate to difficult
Reef Compatible: Yes
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
- Snorkeling & Scuba
Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon