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Wrasse-putin's Not Stuck!

01 Feb 2013 12:07:13

Wrasse-putin's Not Stuck!

While walking through our Great Barrier Reef exhibit at SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium (in the last tank before the Great Barrier Reef Theatre) you may notice Wrasse-putin, the amazing Humphead Wrasse also known as a Maori Wrasse or a Napoleon Wrasse. And by "may notice" we mean "can't miss"! He's truly spectacular.


However, it's not just Wrasse-putin's good looks that cause a stir. He has an interesting habit of wedging himself in between the two big rocks in his display, causing many concerned customers to believe he's stuck!


And frankly, he's tired of the ha-wrasse-ment. He's not silly enough to get himself stuck (judging by the size of his hump, this fish has brains), he just really enjoys this cosy cubby.

Sometimes he uses it to his advantage though, even fooling our experienced Aquarists! When they're coaxed to go in and check on him, he swims up to them expecting to be fed. Very cheeky indeed!


Still, our little guy is quite small considering Maori Wrasse have been known to grow up to 2m and live to around 30 years for the females and 25 years for males.

 
The Maori Wrasse is known as a protogynous hermaphrodite which means that they're all born female and at some point in their life some of them change into males. The factors that control the timing for the sex change are not yet known.  We do know that Wrasse-putin is (now) a male, because of his beautiful blue colour (females tend to be more of a red/ orange in colour) and the hump on his head, which becomes more and more prominent as he gets older.


So if you want to see truly spectacular, cheeky, gender-bending animal, get on down to SEA LIFE Sydney Aquarium's Great Barrier Reef display - and look between the rocks.

 

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