Physical Description

  • Long, slender bodied fish, with a pointed head, small mouth, and protruding teeth.
  • Greenish brown coloring with brownish vertical bars.
  • Distinguished from señorita because have no black spot in front of tail fin.
  • Measures up to 15 inches long.
  • Males have a large dark blue bar behind pectoral (side) fins, which are yellow.
  • Juveniles have a white stripe down the middle of their side, and a small black dot on their dorsal (back) fin.


  • Point Conception, California to Guadalupe Island, Baja California, Mexico.
  • Gulf of California, Mexico.


  • Lives in shallow water, like rocky shores.
  • Prefers patches of coarse sand.
  • Can be found in tide pools.


  • Spawning occurs in the summer months.
  • Reproduction occurs via group spawning events for smaller individuals.
  • Some larger males attempt elaborate mating displays and pair spawning events, but are not always successful.


  • Amphipods, small crabs, dove shells, and slipper shells.


  • Natural predators of wrasse are larger fish, barracuda, and sharks.

Interesting Facts

  • They all start their lives as females and once they are about 12 inches long, become male! 
  • They sleep at night by burying themselves in the sand with only their heads sticking out. 

Sources:; Fish Base; Ben Frable, Scripps Institution of Oceanography; Adreani and Allen 2008

Photo: Herb Gruenhagen