Red Eye Wrasse

Cirrhilabrus Solorensis
Red Eye Wrasse - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Cirrhilabrus Solorensis
Other names Red Head Solon Fairy Wrasse, Redheaded Fairy Wrasse, Solon Fairy Wrasse, Tricolor Fairy Wrasse
Size Up to 11 cm (4.3 in)
Weight Under 40 grams


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters, lagoons & outer reef areas amongst coral & rubble
Depth Range 8 - 60 m (196 ft)
Red Eye Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The red eye Wrasse is found in the Western Pacific region, which includes parts of Australia. They are often found reefs in the warm waters of the Northern Territory.
  • The red eye wrasse is a brilliantly coloured marine fish. The body can be a combination of red, orange, bright blue or purplish-blue. As their name suggests, these wrasse have a prominent red or orange area around their eyes which contrasts with their bright body.
  • Red eye wrasses have a varied diet consisting of small benthic invertebrates, including worms, crustaceans, and molluscs. They use their specialised mouth to pluck off these organisms from the substrate.
  • Red eye wrasses are known for their active and playful behaviour. They spend a lot of their time swimming around in search of food, interacting with other fish, and exploring their surroundings.
  • During the mating display, males undergo a significant colour change, known as “nuptial coloration”. The display includes rapid swimming and color changes, all intended to attract a female’s attention.
  • Interestingly, red eye wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites. This means they have the ability to change sex from female to male, usually triggered when there is a shortage of males in the population.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 10 years with a average of 7.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

The Red Eye Wrasse can be a fascinating species to observe for snorkelers and divers. Their vibrant colours, active nature, and unique social and mating behaviours make them fascinating to watch. However, due to their preference for deeper coral reefs, scuba diving equipment is usually necessary for observation. Their vibrant colours and smaller size also make them popular for aquariums, but they must be well established.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Cirrhilabrus

Species: Cirrhilabrus Solorensis

Conservation Status

The red eye wrasse is not considered threatened or endangered in Australia and is not currently evaluated by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN).

Red Eye Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate to difficult

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Omnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 80 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

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