Place of origin:Western Indian Ocean
Widespread Indo-West Pacific. Coastal to outer reef habitats. Adults usually along deep slopes or drop-offs. Colour varies with age and sex, and a xanthic form. The various geographical forms appear to represent single species, including in the Red Sea. Best recognised by its unusual mouth that extends to the end of the head in its closed position. The jaws swing forward into a long tube to create a strong suction to catch prey, taking in crustaceans and small fishes. Sometimes the Slingjaw Wrasse visits cleaning stations, holding its mouth fully extended and open for inspection. Length to 24cm.