Ornate Leopard Wrasse

Macropharyngodon Ornatus
Ornate Leopard Wrasse - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Macropharyngodon Ornatus
Other names False Leopard Wrasse, Ornate Wrasse, Western Leopard Wrasse
Size Up to 11 cm (4.33 in)
Weight Under 100 grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst sandy & rubble areas of coral reefs
Depth Range 1 - 20 m (65 ft)
Ornate Leopard Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The ornate leopard wrasse is a species of fish belonging to the family Labridae, which is primarily found in the Western Australia.
  • They have a distinctive pattern of blue, black, white, and orange colours with vibrant dots and stripes on its body,
  • The ornate leopard wrasse is a carnivorous fish, feeding on small invertebrates such as copepods, amphipods, and small crustaceans.
  • The ornate leopard wrasse is a solitary fish and does not form schools or groups.
  • It is a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning that it starts life as a female and can later change into a male as it matures.
  • The exact timing of its breeding season is unclear, but some species of wrasse spawn during the summer months in Western Australia. During courtship, the male may display bright colours and engage in various behaviours. After fertilisation, the female may lay her eggs in a nest or crevice, and the male will guard them until they hatch.
  • The estimated lifespan of the ornate leopard wrasse in the wild is not well-known due to limited research. However, some other species of wrasses are known to live for up to 20 years.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

The ornate leopard wrasse is a popular aquarium fish among hobbyists due to its vibrant coloration and unique patterns. They are generally hardy and adaptable to a range of aquarium conditions, but they do have some specific requirements that need to be met in order to thrive. Observing them while snorkeling or diving can be a rewarding experience, as they are known for their striking and colourful patterns. However, they can be quite shy and easily frightened by divers, so it is important to approach them slowly and quietly.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Macropharyngodon

Species: Macropharyngodon Ornatus

Conservation Status

The conservation status of the ornate leopard wrasse in Australia is currently listed as “Least Concern” by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) and is not considered to be a threatened species.

Ornate Leopard Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

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