Wrasses (Labridae)



Catch fish using nets, spear, hook and line, or traps. Be mindful of ciguatera toxin and check the news for a possible outbreak in the area.


Keep fish chilled in a cooler or refrigerator. Can be frozen for longer storage.


  • Wash fish well before use.
  • Remove the guts with a knife.

Photo Source



Wrasses vary in size and form. They generally have complex and bright color patterns that change with growth and gender. They have elongate bodies and scales with smooth edges (Division of Aquatic and Wildlife Resources, Guam Department of Agriculture; Myers, 1999).

Humphead Wrasse

1.  Humphead wrasse; Napoleonfish (Cheilinus undulates)
Also known as the napoleonfish, it is one of the largest reef fishes with a distinct hump on the forehead and very thick lips. Can be found along steep outer reef slopes, channel slopes, and lagoon reefs.

Tripletail Wrasse

2.  Tripletail wrasse (Cheilinus trilobatus)
Has a 3-lobed tail. Can be found in lagoon and seaward reefs, along shallow reef margins or high coral growth and plenty of holes and cuts.

Traditional Names
  • Chamorro – tåsen guåguan 1; tangison 1; lalacha’ måmå’te 2
  • Kosraean – kuhsruhl 1
  • Marshallese – lappo 1
  • Palauan – terrid 1; ngimr 1,2; mamel 1
  • Pohnpeian – merer 1; poaros 1
  • Samoan – sugale; lalafi 1; malakea 1; tagafa1; lalafi-matamumu 2
  • Yapese – maame 1; porose 2