Growing up in Tulamben, Bali, for the canarytop wrasse (Halichoeres leucoxanthus) is recognized by divers upon noticing the changes in the fish’s appearance.
Many of the wrasse family are decorative underwater wonders, such as one of their larger family members, the bumphead parrotfish! Throughout their life, the canarytop wrasse (as well as its cousins) will develop different patterns: spots, bands, stripes and general colour; in accordance with its sexual maturity. Bali Dream Divers’ guests will most likely spot those that are almost completely bright yellow with few patterns (pictured) in the very shallow area of rubble adjacent to the USAT Liberty Shipwreck. This is understood to be a juvenile of the species, and how they develop is determined by whether they will change their sex to maintain their population numbers. This evolutionary capability is called protogynous hermaphroditism.
Sometimes when you know more about a common tropical fish, they’re much more interesting than being ‘just another pretty fish face’ of the underwater world! Contact the ‘Dream Team’ for some diving in Tulamben village under the experienced supervision and guidance of our PADI Pro Divers to learn more about our tropical seas in Indonesia!