MarLIN

information on the biology of species and the ecology of habitats found around the coasts and seas of the British Isles

Goldsinny (Ctenolabrus rupestris)

Distribution data supplied by the Ocean Biogeographic Information System (OBIS). To interrogate UK data visit the NBN Atlas.

Summary

Description

The goldsinny wrasse Ctenolabrus rupestris is brown, greenish or orange-red in colour. It is easily distinguishable from other wrasse species by two dark patches, one on the dorsal fin and one just in front of the tail fin. The head is small and pointed, with a large mouth, two rows of small teeth and fleshy lips. Adults are usually 10-12 cm in length, but may reach 18 cm.

Recorded distribution in Britain and Ireland

Widely distributed throughout Britain and Ireland, although rare in the North Sea and eastern Channel.

Global distribution

-

Habitat

Inhabits rocks or algae (particularly eelgrass) at depths between 1-50 m. Adults inhabit deeper waters, while young can be found further inshore and even inhabiting rock pools.

Depth range

-

Identifying features

  • Up to 12 cm long.
  • Brown, greenish or orange-red in colour.
  • One dark spot on dorsal fin, another in front of the tail fin.
  • Small pointed head with large mouth.

Additional information

Prey species of the goldsinny include benthic crustacea, molluscs and also parasites from other fish species. It has also been a successful alternative to pesticides, in removing parasitic lice from commercially farmed salmon.

Listed by

Further information sources

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Bibliography

  1. FishBase, 2000. FishBase. A global information system on fishes. [On-line] http://www.fishbase.org, 2001-05-03

  2. Hayward, P.J. & Ryland, J.S. (ed.) 1995b. Handbook of the marine fauna of North-West Europe. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

  3. Howson, C.M. & Picton, B.E., 1997. The species directory of the marine fauna and flora of the British Isles and surrounding seas. Belfast: Ulster Museum. [Ulster Museum publication, no. 276.]

  4. JNCC (Joint Nature Conservation Committee), 1999. Marine Environment Resource Mapping And Information Database (MERMAID): Marine Nature Conservation Review Survey Database. [on-line] http://www.jncc.gov.uk/mermaid

  5. Muus, B.J. & Dahlstrom, P., 1974. Collins guide to the sea fishes of Britain and North-Western Europe. Wm Collins Sons & Co. Ltd: London.

  6. National Biodiversity Network (NBN) Atlas website. Available from: http://www.nbnatlas.org.  Accessed 01 April 2017

  7. Picton, B.E. & Costello, M.J., 1998. BioMar biotope viewer: a guide to marine habitats, fauna and flora of Britain and Ireland. [CD-ROM] Environmental Sciences Unit, Trinity College, Dublin., http://www.itsligo.ie/biomar/

  8. Whitehead, P.J.P., Bauchot, M.-L., Hureau, J.-C., Nielson, J. & Tortonese, E. 1986. Fishes of the North-eastern Atlantic and the Mediterranean. Vol. I, II & III. Paris: United Nations Educational, Scientific and Cultural Organisation (UNESCO).

Citation

This review can be cited as:

Reeds, K.A. 2004. Ctenolabrus rupestris Goldsinny. In Tyler-Walters H. and Hiscock K. (eds) Marine Life Information Network: Biology and Sensitivity Key Information Reviews, [on-line]. Plymouth: Marine Biological Association of the United Kingdom. Available from: http://www.marlin.ac.uk/species/detail/1527

Last Updated: 10/08/2004