Once upon a time in Madagascar there lived the very unique wrasse family. Christmas with the wrasses was an elaborate affair. Every year the wrasses gathered at Grandpa Napoleon’s reef house. Grandpa Napoleon was a big fish, to say the least, with an extraordinarily large forehead. In his old age, Grandpa Napoleon had become grumpy and was most often alone, due to the loss of the now extinct, Grandma wrasse.

Uncle Goldbar wrasse always joined in the festivities. Goldbar wrasse held the fortune of the family, earned through business ventures of a dubious nature. His wealth is always on display by his big gold necklace worn prominently behind his pectoral fin.
Goldbar wrasse relies on his thug of a brother, barred thicklip wrasse, to do his dirty work. Barred thicklip wrasse was never caught in the act and was rarely suspected due to his innocent looking green head with pink band and luscious lips.

However, their twin nephews, bicolour cleaner wrasse and bluestreak cleaner wrasse were not so lucky. Due to past indiscretions, they were now only employable in the cleaning industry. Janitors by day, they swim with jerky motions to attract clients by night.

Aunt crescent wrasse brought along her astrological predictions for the upcoming wrasse year. She was all dressed up in blue to lavender with a crescent moon on her tail. Her sister, yellow-breasted wrasse came along as well, along with her husband, yellowtail wrasse, who also brought their newborn juvenile zig zag wrasse dressed in a pale green all in one with a black zipper down the middle. His older brother, white spotted wrasse was home with a bad case of fixh pox, leaving him covered in blueish white spots.

Then there was great uncle axilspot hogfish who owns his own garage. He often gets carried away with his work and has black spot scars from an experiment to make the first ever fish-car hybrid. This obsession troubled his wife, a lyretail hogfish, and a freckly musician, who always carried her harp on her tail. Their only son, tripletail wrasse was deformed at birth, leaving him with two white bands on his tail, the only reminders of the extra tails of the tripletail defect.

But still, he wasn’t as strange as his cousin, slingjaw wrasse, who is currently serving time for eating his brother, sixbar wrasse with his extendable jaw structure. Sixbar wrasse had been a pale green to whiteish fish with 5-4 black saddles on his back. But this is now a mere memory. Since the loss of her brothers, checkerboard wrasse has become a mute, obsessed with board games. She often plays checkers on her own back.

The final member of the wrasse family is the Indian Ocean bird wrasse who took her greatly elongate snout and flew the coop, never to return to the wrasse family Christmas. This dysfunctional wrasse family may be large and varied, but once a year when grandpa Napoleon invites them to his reef house, the similarities show in their brightly coloured faces, tapering bodies and ability to shake their wrasses.

The END! 🙂

Posted by Blue Ventures

Blue Ventures is an award winning marine conservation charity. We rebuild tropical fisheries with coastal communities. On our Beyond Conservation blog you can hear voices from the front line of marine conservation written by our staff and volunteers.

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