Animal Species:Brokenline Wrasse, Stethojulis interrupta (Bleeker, 1851)

The Brokenline Wrasse is a tropical marine fish found in the Great Barrier Reef. It can be recognised by its unique colouration.

A Brokenline Wrasse at Port Stephens

A Brokenline Wrasse at Port Stephens
Photographer: David & Leanne Atkinson © David & Leanne Atkinson

Standard Common Name

Brokenline Wrasse

Alternative Name/s

Broken-lined Wrasse, Cutribbon Wrasse, Spot-bellied Rainbow-fish


The Brokenline Wrasse is a relatively slender fish that can be recognised by its colouration. Initial phase fish are yellowish brown or pinkish to grey above and pale with black spots below . The snout is yellow and the area in front of the pectoral fin base is often tinged with red.

Terminal phase fish are greenish above and pale below. A blue stripe runs along the sides of the body from below the pectoral fin base to the caudal peduncle. There is an orange-red blotch above the pectoral fin base. A blue line runs from the top of the head along the upper sides of the body to below the rear of the dorsal fin. Blue lines run horizontally through the top and bottom of the eyes.

Size range

The Brokenline Wrasse grows to 13 cm in length.


The species occurs primarily in tropical marine waters of the Indo-West Pacific. In Australia it is known from the south-western to north-western coasts of Western Australia and from the northern Great Barrier Reef, Queensland south to the southern coast of New South Wales.

The map below shows the Australian distribution of the species based on public sightings and specimens in Australian Museums. Click on the map for detailed information.  Source: Atlas of Living Australia.

Stethojulis interrupta</

Distribution by collection data

Ozcam map of Brokenline Wrasse specimens in the Australian Museum.

What does this mean?



What does this mean?


  1. Allen, G.R. 1997. Marine Fishes of Tropical Australia and South-east Asia. Western Australian Museum. Pp. 292.
  2. Hutchins, B. & R. Swainston. 1986. Sea Fishes of Southern Australia. Complete Field Guide for Anglers and Divers. Swainston Publishing. Pp. 180.
  3. Kuiter, R.H. 1996. Guide to Sea Fishes of Australia. New Holland. Pp. 433.
  4. Kuiter, R.H. 2000. Coastal Fishes of South-eastern Australia. Gary Allen. Pp. 437.
  5. Randall, J.E., Allen, G.R. & R.C. Steene. 1997. Fishes of the Great Barrier Reef and Coral Sea. Crawford House Press. Pp. 557.

Mark McGrouther , Collection Manager, Ichthyology
Last Updated:

Tags Fish, Ichthyology, Brokenline Wrasse, Stethojulis interrupta, Labridae, yellow, brown, pink, grey, odd-shaped, 10 cm - 30 cm, countershaded, coral reef, marine, adult,