Green Moon Wrasse

Thalassoma Lutescens
Green Moon Wrasse - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Thalassoma Lutescens
Other names Bluefin Wrasse, Parrotfish, Sunset Wrasse, Yellow Moon Wrasse, Yellow Brown Wrasse, Yellow Green Wrasse
Size Up to 30 cm (11.8 in)
Weight Up to 1 kg (2.2 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst sandy & rubble areas next to coral rich reefs
Depth Range 3 - 30 m (100 ft)
Green Moon Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Green Moon Wrasse, also known as the Yellow Moon Wrasse, is a species of wrasse found in the waters in Western Australia and Queensland, particularly in the Great Barrier Reef.
  • Males are easily distinguished by their bright green or blue-green body with a yellow or orange crescent-shaped marking on their head, resembling a “moon”. Females are generally less colourful, with a greenish-brown body and a yellow or white spot behind their pectoral fin.
  • They primarily feed on small invertebrates, such as crustaceans, molluscs, and small fish.
  • They are solitary animals and are often seen hiding in crevices or under rocks during the day.
  • Green Moon Wrasse are known to change their sex from female to male, with this transition often occurring when the dominant male in the area dies or is removed.
  • They have been observed engaging in cleaning behaviour, where they remove parasites and dead skin from other fish in their environment.
  • Green Moon Wrasse are known to spawn in pairs, with a male and a female swimming closely together before releasing their eggs and sperm simultaneously into the water column. The eggs are buoyant and drift in the water until they hatch into larvae.
  • The estimated lifespan is between 5 – 7 years in the wild.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

The Green Moon Wrasse is a popular aquarium fish due to its vibrant colours and active swimming behaviour. However, they can be challenging to keep in a home aquarium, as they have specific care requirements and can be aggressive towards other fish. They are a very colourful and active fish, which makes them an attractive species to watch for snorkelers and divers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Thalassoma

Species: Thalassoma Lutescens

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the Green Moon Wrasse has not been specifically assessed by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, the species is generally considered to be of least concern, meaning that it is not currently at significant risk of extinction or population decline.

Green Moon Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Aggressive

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 100 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Intermediate

Temperament: Aggressive

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None