Asian Sheepshead Wrasse

By: Mark McGrouther, Category: Science, Date: 03 Sep 2010

A weird-looking fish that people have compared with Shrek, the animated character, has been filmed in Japan.  The fish is an Asian Sheepshead Wrasse, Semicossyphus reticulatus.  It is a labrid fish (family Labridae) that occurs in China, Japan, and both North and South Korea. Australia is home to over 180 species of wrasses.  Regrettably for divers, the Asian Sheepshead Wrasse is not one of them.

X-ray image of the head of a Snapper

X-ray image of the head of a Snapper
Photographer: James King © James King

Many fishes develop humps and bumps on the head and other parts of the body. This is often as a result of hyperostosis ('above normal bone growth'). The enlarged forehead and chin of the Asian Sheepshead Wrasse is a good example. One more familiar to many people would be the hump on the head of a large Snapper.


Tags Asian Sheepshead Wrasse, fishes, ichthyology, Semicossyphus reticulatus, Labridae,