Western King Wrasse

Coris Auricularis
Western King Wrasse - Marinewise © 2023 MarineWise

Quick Facts

Scientific name Coris Auricularis
Other names Blushing Wrasse, King Wrasse
Size Up to 40 cm (15.7 in)
Weight Up to 1.5 kg (3.3 lb)


Habitat & AU Distribution Coastal waters on coral reefs amongst sandy areas & seagrass beds
Depth Range 5 - 40 m (131 ft)
Western King Wrasse Distribution

Interesting Info

  • The Western King Wrasse is a fish species found in the coastal waters of Western Australia, ranging from Shark Bay in the north to Albany in the south.
  • They have a distinctive reddish-pink body with white markings along the sides. The head of the Western King Wrasse is typically a different colour from the body, ranging from blue-green to brownish-red.
  • The Western King Wrasse is an omnivore, meaning it eats a variety of prey, including small fish, crustaceans, molluscs, and algae.
  • They are a diurnal fish, meaning it is active during the day and rests at night.
  • Western King Wrasse are sequential hermaphrodites, starting as females and later transforming into males as they grow larger. This process is triggered by social cues, and it allows the species to reproduce successfully.
  • Breeding typically occurs during the warmer months between October and April, with males building nests and attracting females to spawn. Females lay their eggs in the male’s nest, and the male then fertilises the eggs and guards them until they hatch.
  • Estimated lifespan is up to 30 years.
Species Interaction

Recreational Fishing, Snorkeling & Diving

Western king wrasse is a popular target for recreational anglers in Western Australia due to its size and fighting ability. They are also known for their striking colours and are a popular species to observe in the wild for snorkelers and divers.

Scientific Classification

Kingdom: Animalia

Phylum: Chordata

Class: Actinopterygii

Order: Perciformes

Family: Labridae

Genus: Coris

Species: Coris Auricularis

Conservation Status

In Western Australia, the Department of Primary Industries and Regional Development (DPIRD) assesses the conservation status of species using a system called the “Western Australian Wildlife Conservation Status.” Under this system, the Western King Wrasse is considered to be of “Least Concern”.

Fish Taste Quality

Western king wrasse are considered to be good eating fish. They have firm, white flesh that is said to be mild and slightly sweet in flavour.

Taste Rating: 3/5

How to catch
Western King Wrasse

Catch Difficulty: Easy

Tackle: Running Sinker Rig

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

Technique: Keep bait on the bottom, Keep bait close to the reef/structure

Popularity: Targeted

Recreational Viewing
- Snorkeling & Scuba

Finding: Easy

Temperament: Curious

Location: Inner Reef, Outer Reef, Lagoon

Danger: None

error: Alert: Content selection is disabled!!