Cheilinus trilobatus Lacep├Ęde, 1801
Tripletail wrasse
Cheilinus trilobatus
photo by Greenfield, J.

 Family:  Labridae (Wrasses), subfamily: Cheilininae
 Max. size:  45 cm TL (male/unsexed)
 Environment:  reef-associated; depth range 1 - 30 m
 Distribution:  Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Tuamoto and Austral islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia.
 Diagnosis:  Dorsal spines (total): 9-9; Dorsal soft rays (total): 10-10; Anal spines: 3-3; Anal soft rays: 8-8. Olivaceous with a vertical red line on each body scale; small red spots and irregular lines on head and chest; red lines radiating anteriorly from eye (Ref. 4392). Large adults of this species have trilobed caudal fins.
 Biology:  Adults inhabit lagoon and seaward reefs at depths of 1 to over 30 m, and relatively common along shallow reef margins with good coral cover (Ref. 9710). Usually solitary (Ref. 5213). Feed mainly on shelled benthic invertebrates such as mollusks and crustaceans, but occasionally take fishes (Ref. 1602). Oviparous, distinct pairing during breeding (Ref. 205). Difficult to approach (Ref. 9710). Juveniles secretive on algae reefs and usually around stinging hydrozoans (Ref. 48636).
 IUCN Red List Status:   (Ref. 96402)
 Threat to humans:  harmless
 Country info:   
 

 Entered by: Capuli, Estelita Emily - 10.06.92
 Modified by: Luna, Susan M. - 28.07.11
 Checked by: Westneat, Mark - 03.10.95

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