Pixy Wrasse

Coris Pictoides
Pixy Wrasse - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Coris Pictoides
Other names Blackstripe Coris, Blackstriped Wrasse, Pixy Coris, Pixy Rainbow Wrasse
Size Up to 15 cm (5.9 in)
Weight Under 150 grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, lagoons & estuaries amongst sandy & rubble areas near reefs
Depth Range 1 - 30 m (98 ft)
Pixy Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Pixy Wrasse is a species of marine fish that can be found along the coast of Western Australia, the Northern Territory, Queensland and northern New South Wales.
  • The coloration of the Pixy Wrasse can vary depending on several factors such as sex, age, and location. Some describe the Pixy Wrasse as having a reddish-brown body with green and yellow stripes, while others describe them as having a green-blue head and a yellow body.
  • Pixy Wrasse feed primarily on small invertebrates and crustaceans, including snails, crabs, shrimp, and small fish. They have strong jaws and can use their sharp teeth to crush the hard shells of their prey.
  • They are also known to engage in cleaning behaviour, where they remove parasites and dead skin from larger fish, and they may also occasionally eat algae and other small plant matter.
  • Pixy Wrasse are protogynous hermaphrodites, which means they start their life as females and change into males when they reach maturity.
  • They spawn in pairs during summer and release their eggs and sperm into the water column. The eggs hatch into larvae that drift with the currents before settling into the substrate as juveniles.
  • Pixy Wrasse are diurnal and can be observed in the wild during the day when they are actively foraging for small invertebrates and crustaceans.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 10 years.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

Pixy wrasse are known for their striking colours and are a popular species for aquariums and to observe in the wild for snorkelers and divers. They are relatively easy to spot on the reef swimming around reef and seagrass areas.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Coris

Species: Coris Pictoides

Conservation Status

In Australia, the Pixy Wrasse is not considered to be a threatened species and is listed as “Least Concern” on the IUCN Red List.

Pixy Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 80 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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