Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse - Coris Julis

mediterranean-rainbow-wrasse-coris-julis-1Latin: Coris Julis

English: Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse

German: Der Meerjunker

French: La Girelle, Girelle Royale (pour les mâles), Girelle Commune (pour les femelles)

Italian: Donzella

Spanish: La Julia, Doncella, Budión

Croatian: Knez, Dunzela, Vladika, Marijeta

About: The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse, is a small, very gentle fish in the family Labridae.

Body is elongated, laterally flat, with a small head and a small mouth. Maximum length is around 25cm and maximum weight around 0.20kg. On average, it is very small fish weighing around 0.02kg (20g).

Coris Julis is a 'sequential hermaphrodite'. Up to a length of 18cm, all individuals, both male and females, have brown back with white-yellow dots creating a stripe starting above eyes, white stripe on the sides and white-yellow bellies.

Individuals longer than 18cm are all males - upper sides are green-blueish, belly is white. There is a dark blue spot over the ventral fin and a bright orange band on the side from mouth to the tail fin. Very colorful fish often resembling the rainbow - hence the name.

It feeds on small animals that it can find on the bottom, among small rocks and sea grass - it is not very picky about food. Spawning depends on location, but it usually occurs in the first half of the Summer.


All photos of Coris Julis are with permission by Miro Andric, Croatia's Undersea World.

Habitat: Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse is common in the Mediterranean Sea and can be found in the northeast Atlantic Ocean from Sweden to Senegal. Population found in the Atlantic slightly differ in color and genetics from the Mediterranean population - but they are still considered as a single fish species.

It can be found from shallows to the 50m depths. During winter, it can be found even deeper - up to a 100-120m. It prefers rocky bottoms and small reefs, covered with small vegetation, where it can find food and shelter.

mediterranean-rainbow-wrasse-coris-julis-3Fishing period: It is often caught during warmer months as a bycatch.

Fishing rigs and tackle: The Mediterranean Rainbow Wrasse can be caught on any small-enough rig - rod and reel, hand line etc.

In its search for food, it can be even caught in fish traps.

It will gladly accept most common baits used in angling: small prawns or shrimps, small chunks of fish meat, bread, paste etc. In fact, very often it will simply strip-off the bait from the hook, intended for larger fish.

Cuisine: Meat is white and very gentle. Larger specimen are rare - they can be prepared in numerous ways and they are all great. Smaller specimen are usually pan fried.

Very tasty fish that digests quickly and easily.