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Wrasse Wednesday

10 August 2011 | Posted in Marine

Author Ronnie Reed

ballan wrasse / Geir Friestad

This is a brash, brightly coloured family of fish. The most common wrasse around our coastline is the ballan which is found around seaweed in shallow waters off rocky shores or in lower shore rock pools. The young can be bright green whilst the mature fish are a mottled greenish brown. They feed on crustaceans and mussels. Wrasse change sex; they mature as females and some then change into males. Their courtship is elaborate and the males do the homebuilding, excavating a ‘nest’ for the eggs to be laid into. They can live up to 20 years.

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