Chiseltooth Wrasse

Pseudodax Moluccanus
Chiseltooth Wrasse - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Pseudodax Moluccanus
Other names Chiseltoothed Wrasse
Size Up to 25 cm (9.84 in)
Weight Up to .45 kg (1 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst reefs in caves, crevices & holes
Depth Range 5 - 100 m (328 ft)
Chiseltooth Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Chiseltooth Wrasse is commonly found in the northern parts of Australia, particularly in the waters around the Northern Territory.
  • The species is known for its distinctive coloration, which includes a bright blue head and a greenish-brown body.
  • The species is a carnivorous fish, feeding primarily on small fish, crustaceans, and other invertebrates.
  • The Chiseltooth Wrasse is a solitary species, often seen swimming alone or in pairs. The species is known for its aggressive behaviour, particularly towards other wrasses and fish that are similar in size or appearance.
  • During the breeding season, which typically occurs in the summer months, male Chiseltooth Wrasses become more brightly coloured and engage in aggressive displays to attract mates.
  • Like many other wrasses, the Chiseltooth Wrasse is hermaphroditic, meaning that it has both male and female reproductive organs.
  • Juvenile Chiseltooth Wrasses often form large schools for protection and socialization, but as they grow older, they become more solitary.
  • The estimated lifespan is between 10 – 15 years in the wild.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

Chiseltooth Wrasse are not a targeted species for fishing and are often caught as bycatch, and are released. Chiseltooth Wrasse can be challenging to keep in captivity, and only experienced aquarium keepers should attempt to keep this species as they are very aggressive to other species and need lots of care. They can be a fascinating fish to observe while snorkeling or diving as they have striking colours.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Pseudodax

Species: Pseudodax Moluccanus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Chiseltooth Wrasse in Australia is not formally assessed. However, the species is not currently considered to be threatened, endangered, or vulnerable.

How to catch
Chiseltooth Wrasse

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

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

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

Popularity: Not targeted

Chiseltooth Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Difficult

Temperament: Very Aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Aggressive

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None