Coris julis (Linnaeus, 1758), commonly known as Rainbow Wrasse, is a fish belonging to the Labridae family.
Distribution and habitat
This fish is widespread in the Mediterranean Sea and in the eastern Atlantic Ocean from the Channel to Central Africa.
Inhabits rocky bottoms or posidonia, is a strictly coastal fish and its bathymetric spread ranges from a few centimeters to (exceptionally) 120 meters deep. It lives on rocky coasts often in the less frequented harbors, among the rocks of the cliffs.
Tapered body, pointed snout. The livery has a marked sexual dimorphism: the females have brown back and yellowish hips with white belly, while the males are green, blue or brown, with white belly, a dark blue spot above the pectoral fin and with a lively orange wavy band on the sides .
It reaches a length of 25 cm.
The damsel is a protogynous species: the individuals (sexually active at 1 year) are born females and as they grow older they become males. Studies have shown that all individuals over 18 cm are male specimens. The change of sex takes about 5 months. The yellow-transparent eggs are laid between April and August.
It feeds on algae, amphipods, copepods, sea urchins, polychaetes, shrimps and gastropods.