Claire Corlett

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Facts: The Napoleon Fish (Humphead Wrasse)

Facts: The Napoleon Fish (Humphead Wrasse)


The napoleon fish is a large endangered wrasse
that can found in the shallow, tropical waters of the Indo-Pacific. These fish can grow to about 7 ft (2.1 m)
long. They are typically spotted solitary or in
pairs. Napoleon fish are active during the day. They flap their pectoral fins to swim. They typically hide in reef caves or under
coral ledges at night. They have thick lips and tough teeth. They feed on a variety of reef fish and marine
invertebrates. They can even eat toxic prey like boxfish
and crown of thorns starfish. Napoleon fish are protogynous hermaphrodites. This means that the females are capable of
transitioning into males later in life. Older males can be recognized by the more
prominent bump on their forehead. For reproduction, they will form small spawning
aggregations. Eggs are fertilized in the water column. Juveniles often inhabit inshore reefs, typically
around staghorn coral. Large adults are more likely to be found in
deeper reefs. Adults are estimated to live about 30 years. They are sometimes preyed on by larger fish,
like sharks. Napoleon fish are highly vulnerable to overfishing. Their numbers have decreased over the last
few decades. Because of their desirable flavor and texture,
they are prized as a luxury food item in some areas of East Asia, making them a very valuable
catch for fishermen. A napoleon fish can be sold by the kilogram
for hundreds of dollars. Juveniles are frequently caught live and cultured
until they grow to market size, which can take 3 to 5 years. For more marine facts, click the SUBSCRIBE
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