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Select species

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Corkwing wrasse

Corkwing wrasse

Ballan wrasse

Ballan wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Goldsinny-wrasse

Goldsinny-wrasse

Three-spined stickleback

Three-spined stickleback

Lumpsucker

Lumpsucker

Tadpole fish

Tadpole fish

Topknot

Topknot

Greater weever

Greater weever

Eelpout

Eelpout

Shorthorn sculpin

Shorthorn sculpin

Green crab

Green crab

Edible crab

Edible crab

Common starfish

Common starfish

Edible sea urchin

Edible sea urchin

Dahlia anemone

Dahlia anemone

Plumose sea anemone

Plumose sea anemone

Common whelk

Common whelk

Cuckoo wrasse

Cuckoo wrasse

Facts

LatinLabrus mixtus
Size40 cm
FoodBenthic invertebrates and small crustaceans
HabitatCuckoo wrasse are found in shallow waters down to depths of 200 meters on hard, rocky bottoms with lots of algae.
IUCN

Least concern

LocationNorth Sea, Skagerrak, northern Kattegat
Map

Two in one

The male is blue and the female is red. The cuckoo wrasse is one of the most colourful species found in Danish waters. The male and female look so different that it was once thought that they were two different species.

Changes gender

When young, all cuckoo wrasse are female, but when they reach between 7-13 years of age, they can change gender and colour. If the dominant male dies, one of the large females changes gender and takes over control of the harem. Only a few cuckoo wrasse begin life as males. These have the female's red colouring.

Eggs and young fish

In May-June, the female lays 1000 eggs in a nest made of algae on the seabed. The nest is guarded by the male. The eggs hatch in about 1-2 weeks. The young clownfish live in the open water until the autumn. They then settle near the seabed.

Excursion

Cuckoo wrasses are found in boulder reefs. When snorkelling, you could be lucky enough to see this beautiful fish. Many different species of plants and animals live in Danish boulder reefs. The boulder reefs have been called the coral reef of Scandinavia and the oasis of the sea.


Sandy bottom

Eelgrass in the Sound

Faroese bird cliff

Seaotter

Pacific octopus

Japanese spider crab

American lobster