The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse (Coris festiva or Coris julis) is a small marine (saltwater) fish in the Labridae family of wrasse.
The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse has a colourful, thin, elongated body. The male is green, blue, or brown with a white belly, a dark-blue spot near its tail fin, and a bright orange band along its side. The female is brown with yellowish sides and a white belly.
It measures 18-25 centimetres (7-10 inches) in length.
It is found in the Mediterranean Sea and in the north-east Atlantic Ocean from Sweden in the north to Senegal in the south.
It prefers locations near the shore among seagrass or rocks.
It is a predator fish, feeding on sea urchins, shrimp, and snails.
The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasseis diurnal, active during the day.
It is predominantly a solitary fish.
The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse starts its life as a female. When it is an adult, it becomes a male. This is called a sequential hermaphrodite.
The young Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse looks like the female with a brown body, yellowish sides and a white belly.
Location of photographs: Aquarium de Paris-Cinéaqua, France
Photographer: Martina Nicolls
Martina Nicolls: SIMILAR BUT DIFFERENT IN THE ANIMAL KINGDOM