Four Facts You Didn’t Know About Napoleon Wrasse

Napoleon wrasse
© Gerald Rambert

The giant yet gentle Napoleon wrasse, commonly called the Humphead Wrasse, is a favourite fish to encounter for divers in many regions of the world not only because they are very
photogenic but also of their approachability. It’s one of the few fish that will come very close to you, making it easy to photograph its beauty!

Here are 4 facts you didn’t know about the bumphead parrotfish.

1. Protogynous hermaphrodite.

female napoleon wrasse
Female Napoleon wrasse © Gerald Rambert

At around the age of 9, most of Napoleon wrasse change their sex from female to male as they grow older and larger. This means that they turn from a female’s red orange colours to a male’s bright blue – green colours. The triggers for this development are not known but some scientists believe that it can be prompted by the disappearance of a dominant male.

2. Long lifespan

Old Napoleon wrasse
Old Napoleon wrasse © Blue Shark

They can live up to 30 years (some sources even say up to 50 years) with females outliving males. The older males have a prominent hump on their forehead and take on a brilliant blue coloration. Moreover, the characteristic patterns on their face become more intense in color.

3. Immune toxins

Napoleons are one of the few fish that can eat toxic animals such as boxfish, sea hares and the crown of thorns starfish. Napoleons are therefore a key part of the marine food chain in keeping a balanced and healthy coral reef.

4. Their eyes can rotate 360 degrees

Their eyes can rotate 360 degrees! Their eyes are constantly moving, always swiveling around to observe their surroundings.

Some of the best places to see them are: Palau, Red Sea, Maldives, Solomons and Papua New Guinea.
Contact us for further information.


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