The Bird Wrasse (Gomphosus varius) is a medium-sized ray-finned marine fish.
The Bird Wrasse has an elongated body with a truncated tail and a long nose (snout). The end of its snout is similar to a bird’s beak. It is blue-green, with a darker blue-green head, yellow-green dorsal fins and yellow-green tail fins. Females are duller in colour.
It grows to about 30 centimetres (12 inches) long.
The Bird Wrasse is found in tropical sea water in the Indian Ocean and Pacific Ocean. In Australia, it is found in waters off the northern coast, and in the Great Barrier Reef. It prefers reefs and lagoons that have lots of coral.
It is a diurnal fish, active mainly during the day. It is carnivorous, feeding on crustaceans, molluscs (snails), and fish that live in coral.
It is usually solitary.
The Bird Wrasse is a hermaphrodite. It starts its life as a female (and is usually black), then changes into a male (usually green-blue).
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM