Humphead Wrasse (Napoleonfish)

Napoleonfish (Teddy Fotiou / CC BY)

The humphead wrasse (Cheilinus undulatus) is characterized by distinct thick lips and a bulbous hump on its forehead. Its body is blue or greenish. Males reach 229 centimeters (90 inches) in length, while females are generally smaller. The humphead wrasse plays an important role in the coral reef ecosystem, since it is one of the few species that preys on crown-of-thorn starfish and other toxic animals. Despite their large size, humphead wrasses are typically friendly toward divers. The species is classified as endangered on the IUCN Red List.

Inhabits the Indo-Pacific Ocean.

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This supplemental online resource accompanies the book Scuba Diving Hand Signals by Lars Behnke, available on Amazon.