Actinopterygii (ray-finned fishes) > Perciformes
(Perch-likes) > Labridae
Etymology: Labrus: Name from Latin 'labrum' for lip, rim or edge; referring to the big lips of the fishes of the genus (from Ovid and Pliny according to Petrus Artedi)..
Environment / Climate / Range
Marine; reef-associated; depth range 1 - 50 m (Ref. 5292), usually 2 - 30 m (Ref. 35388). Temperate; 68°N - 20°N, 32°W - 30°E
Length at first maturity / Size / Weight / Age
Maturity: Lm ?  range ? - ? cm
Max length : 65.9 cm TL male/unsexed; (Ref. 40637); common length : 50.0 cm SL male/unsexed; (Ref. 4742); max. published weight: 4.4 kg (Ref. 40637); max. reported age: 29 years (Ref. 6843)
Body rather massive. Mouth small with thick lips and large conical teeth. Coloration very variable, brownish and greenish predominating (Ref. 35388).
Eastern Atlantic: Norway to Morocco, including Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands. Doubtful reports from Mediterranean, Adriatic and Marmara seas (Ref. 4742), where it is often confused with Labrus merula (NB).
Adults are found in littoral (10-20 m) zone around rocks, offshore reefs, and seaweed. Young often in intertidal areas. All are born females and change sex when they are 4-14 years old (Ref. 35388). One (or more) female spawns in nest of algae, built by male in a crevice. Feed on crustaceans and mollusks (Ref. 4742). Oviparous (Ref. 205).
Eggs are laid in nest built from algae; male guards nest 1-2 weeks until larvae hatch (Ref. 35388); larvae are pelagic.
Quignard, J.-P. and A. Pras, 1986. Labridae. p. 919-942. In P.J.P. Whitehead, M.-L. Bauchot, J.-C. Hureau, J. Nielsen and E. Tortonese (eds.) Fishes of the north-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. UNESCO, Paris. Vol. 2. (Ref. 4742)
IUCN Red List Status (Ref. 96402)
CITES (Ref. 94142)
Threat to humans
Fisheries: subsistence fisheries; gamefish: yes; aquarium: commercial
ReferencesAquacultureAquaculture profileStrainsGeneticsAllele frequenciesHeritabilityDiseasesProcessingMass conversion
Estimates of some properties based on models
Phylogenetic diversity index (Ref. 82805
= 0.5625 [Uniqueness, from 0.5 = low to 2.0 = high].
Bayesian length-weight: a=0.00955 (0.00526 - 0.01733), b=3.06 (2.91 - 3.21), based on LWR estimates for this species & Family-body shape (Ref. 93245
Trophic Level (Ref. 69278
): 3.2 ±0.0 se; Based on diet studies.
Resilience (Ref. 69278
): Low, minimum population doubling time 4.5 - 14 years (K=0.1; tmax=29; tm=2-9).
Vulnerability (Ref. 59153
): High to very high vulnerability (67 of 100) .