Scribbled Wrasse

Anampses Geographicus
Scribbled Wrasse - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Anampses Geographicus
Other names Geographic Wrasse, Olivegreen Wrasse, Scribbled Chisel Toothed Wrasse
Size Up to 31 cm (12.2 in)
Weight Under 1 kg (2.2 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters amongst rocky & coral reefs
Depth Range 3 - 30 m (100 ft)
Scribbled Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Scribbled Wrasse can be found along the eastern and western coastlines of Australia, commonly found on the Great Barrier Reef in Queensland and Ningaloo Reef in Western Australia.
  • The Scribbled Wrasse, is a colourful fish with a blue or bluish-green body, yellow lines, and intricate black squiggles.
  • Like other wrasses, Scribbled Wrasses possess a specialised set of teeth in their throats called pharyngeal teeth. These teeth help them crush hard-shelled prey items, such as small invertebrates, crustaceans and molluscs.
  • They are diurnal, meaning they are active during the day and rest or sleep at night. During the day, they can be seen foraging for food and interacting with other fish species.
  • The coloration and pattern of Scribbled Wrasses serve as a form of protection and communication. The intricate scribbled lines on their bodies help to break up their shape and make them less visible to predators.
  • Scribbled Wrasses have a complex social structure. They often form harems consisting of a dominant male and several females. The male defends his territory and mates with the females within his harem.
  • Scribbled Wrasses breed by spawning, releasing eggs and sperm into the water column during the breeding season, which typically occurs from spring to early summer. After fertilisation, the eggs hatch into larvae that drift with ocean currents before settling into suitable habitats.
  • They have an estimated lifespan between 5 – 7 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Aquarium, Snorkeling & Diving

Scribbled Wrasses are not specifically targeted for recreational fishing in Australia. While they are occasionally caught as bycatch, they are not a primary target. However they are a popular aquarium fish due to their striking colours and interesting swimming patterns. This also makes them a popular fish to spot on the reef for snorkelers and divers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Anampses

Species: Anampses Geographicus

Conservation Status

The Scribbled Wrasse is not listed as a species of conservation concern in Australia. Its population is relatively stable, and it is not listed as endangered or threatened.

Fish Taste Quality

Scribbled Wrasse are a edible fish, however it is not widely consumed in Australia. It is often described as being similar to other reef fish species.

Taste Rating: 2/5

How to catch
Scribbled Wrasse

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Not targeted - Bycatch

Scribbled Wrasse
As Aquarium Fish

Care Level: Moderate

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

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