Cuckoo Wrasse

Male Cuckoo Wrasse

A Male Cuckoo Wrasse guardes his territory

The cuckoo wrasse is one of the most colourful fish that occurs in the seas around Ireland. It has a slender body and head and reaches a maximum length of 35cm. The female is rose-red to orange-red in colour with three or four black blotches interspersed by white blotches on the back, behind the dorsal fin. The male has brilliant iridescent blue on its head and blue lines and blotches along the body. Like many other wrasse species, the older females can change sex to become males with the characteristic iridescent blue coloration. The Cuckoo wrasse are mainly found in rocky areas at depths below 10m on many of the dives on the Cork and Kerry coast. They feed on small crustaceans, worms and molluscs. This species is widespread all Ireland.