Meet ‘Charlie Boy’, the most kissable guy in the gallery. Along with his debonair good looks and kissable lips ‘Charlie’ is a pretty interesting fish having started life as ‘Charlotte’!
Calling the Great Barrier Reef home, ‘Charlie’ is a Humpheaded Maori Wrasse and actually started his life as a female. If you want to get technical, Charlie is a protogynous hermaphrodite, meaning that he changes sex with age. They are territorial by nature and when the dominant male of the area passes away, the largest female starts its process of changing into a male.
The most identifiable difference between females and males is the colour and hump on the head. The females are of duller appearance; browns, dull orange and red, while the males are an extravagant blue, purple and green. Called a Maori Wrasse for their striking facial markings resembling those of traditional Maori warriors in New Zealand. An interesting quality of Maori Wrasses are the 2 black lines radiating from the eyes to the top corner of the gill – can you see Charlie’s?
Located on coral reefs these fish are incredibly inquisitive and friendly. In the past they have been sought after for their tasty qualities but are now, thankfully, a no-take fish in Queensland, meaning that both males and females are protected.
Charlie Boy lives a happy and tropical life on Hardy Reef, just off the coast of the Whitsundays. What do you think of Charlie Boy?