Family : Labridae
Text © Giuseppe Mazza
English translation by Mario Beltramini
The Larabicus quadrilineatus (Rüppell, 1835) is a little studied species belonging to the class of the Actinopterygii, the ray-finned fishes, to the order of the Perciformes, and to the vast family of the Labridae.
The name of the genus Larabicus remindsus in Latin that it lives in Arabia, whilst the specific term quadrilineatus refers, always in Latin, to the four longitudinal lines on the sides.
It is endemic to the Red Sea and the Gulf of Aden.
It lives among dense madreporic formations, in shallow waters, never going down below the 15 m of depth.
It slightly exceeds the length of 11 cm. The livery is splendid due to the elegant combination of the light blue with the dark blue, but for its fortune, seen its diet based on cnidarians, it is not very appreciated by the aquarists who then might see destroyed in a few days their live madrepores, home pride and bought at a very high price.
In fact, the adults of the Larabicus quadrilineatus nourish of coral polyps, whilst the juveniles in the beginning behave as “cleaning labrids” freeing turtles and big fishes from the ectoparasites.
The weddings take place regularly in couple, that is, they are not a group happening as at times happens with some fishes that reproduce, for instance, all together during the full moon time, but parental cares are not known and after the fecundation the eggs are abandoned to their destiny.
If a population is decimated by the events, the resilience is excellent with the doubling of the surviving populations in less than 15 months. The vulnerability index of the species is consequently now (2020) very low, marking only 20 on a scale of 100.
Labrus quadrilineatus Rüppell, 1835.