Red-ribbon Wrasse

Thalassoma Quinquevittatum
Red-Ribbon Wrasse - Marinewise © 2024 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Thalassoma Quinquevittatum
Other names Fivestripe Wrasse
Size Up to 17 cm (6.6 in)
Weight Up to .45 kg (1 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst lagoon & seaward reefs near surge channels
Depth Range 3 - 40 m (131 ft)
Red-ribbon Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Red-ribbon Wrasse is a species of marine fish found in the western and central Pacific Ocean, including the Great Barrier Reef and the waters around the northern parts of Australia.
  • It has a distinct appearance: a bright greenish-blue or purple body, five vertical stripes, and a red ribbon-like band along its side.
  • This species typically inhabits coral reefs and lagoons in the wild, feeding on small invertebrates and crustaceans.
  • The Red-ribbon Wrasse is a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning that individuals start as females and can later change sex to become males.
  • The breeding behaviour of this species has been observed in the wild, with males performing courtship displays to attract females.
  • The Red-ribbon Wrasse has a symbiotic relationship with cleaner shrimp and fish, which remove parasites and dead skin from the wrasse’s body.
  • This species is sometimes used as a biological control for the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish, which preys on coral reefs.
  • The Red-ribbon Wrasse is known to be territorial and aggressive towards other wrasses, particularly those of the same sex. Despite its aggressive nature, this species can also exhibit social behaviour, with individuals forming schools.
  • The estimated lifespan of the Red-ribbon Wrasse is between 10-15 years in the wild.
Species Interaction

Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

The Red-ribbon Wrasse is a popular species among aquarium hobbyists due to its vibrant colours and active behaviour. It is often kept in home aquariums and is readily available in the aquarium trade. It is also a often sought-after fish for divers and snorkelers because of its amazing colouring.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Thalassoma

Species: Thalassoma Quinquevittatum

Conservation Status

The Red-ribbon Wrasse is not currently listed as a threatened or endangered species by the International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN). However, in Australia, it is protected within the Great Barrier Reef Marine Park, where fishing and other activities that may harm the species or its habitat are prohibited.

How to catch
Red-ribbon Wrasse

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Not targeted

Red-ribbon Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Reef Compatible: Yes

Minimum Tank Size: 70 gallons

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Peaceful

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None