Turkish Wrasse (Thalassoma Pavo)

Latin name: Thalassoma pavo
Common name: Turkish wrasse
Other names: Ornate wrasse
In other languages: E: Fredi o pez verde, F: Girelle Paon, D: Meerpfau
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Family: Labridae
Genus: Thalassoma

Distribution: Mediterranean shoreline; they are absent in the Black Sea and along parts of both the east and west coast of northern Italy. Along the south coast of France they are not very common but can be seen.

Habitat: Living close to the shoreline from the surface down to 20 metres; in the summer months they can be clearly seen from the surface in water no more than a metre deep around rocky shoreline habitats.

Behaviour: Living solitary in adulthood they yet can be found in small groups ranging over a defined area that they appear to keep to as long as resources permit. At dusk they bury themselves in the sand with just their mouth and eyes showing. This makes it very difficult to see them even with a bright light.

Diet: Small molluscs and crustaceans.

Size: Common: 10 - 20cm, maximum: 25cm.

Colour: This is the most striking in colour of the wrasse family within the Mediterranean. Both male and female have elaborate livery. The juveniles are a very bright lime green with a black spot in the centre and at the base of their dorsal fin, these are mistaken by many divers as a species totally unrelated to the adult version.

Did you know? They are a very easy fish to feed by hand and will overcome their fear in a matter of minutes.

Protected under Gibraltar's Nature Protection Ordinance