The sixbar wrasse, Thalassoma hardwicke, is a common species of wrasse (Labridae) found throughout much of the Indo-Pacific, from the coast of East Africa to Australia and French Polynesia. It is a pretty distinctive fish, pale bluey-green with 5 or 6 clearly defined black saddle bars across its back and broad, magenta-pink bars radiating from around the eye. It inhabits lagoons and outer reef slopes. It feeds on a variety of small crustaceans, fish and fish eggs. It is sometimes called Hardwicke’s wrasse (also spelled Hardwick’s wrasse) named after the British soldier and naturalist Major-General Thomas Hardwicke. Sixbar wrasse grow to about 20cm (8 inches) long.

A curious sixbar wrasse, Savusavu, Fiji. @ Colin Munro Photography
A curious sixbar wrasse checks out its reflection in the glass dome of the underwater housing for my camera. Savusavu, Fiji.

The distinctive patterning of the sixbar wrasse can be clearly seen in the above photograph.

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