The cuckoo wrasse, Labrus mixtus (Pisces: Labridae): biological indices for life history and conservation


  • Sanja Matić-Skoko Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries
  • Dubravka Bojanić Varezić Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries
  • Jasna Šiljić Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries
  • Pero Tutman Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries
  • Armin Pallaoro Institute of Oceanography and Fisheries



Labrus mixtus, Adriatic Sea, age, growth, diet, protogynous hermaphrodite


The cuckoo wrasse, Labrus mixtus, is widely distributed in the moderate warm waters of the Atlantic Ocean, including the Mediterranean and Adriatic Seas. Generally, labrids are small inshore coastal species susceptible to anthropogenic habitat degradation and, although without commercial importance, they make up a significant part of the by-catch and discard. Also, these fishes are intensively caught in recreational and subsistence fisheries. Basic biological information is required for their stock assessment and conservation. Studies of the age, growth, reproduction and feeding of L. mixtus have not been undertaken previously in the Adriatic Sea. The observed maximum age of the cuckoo wrasse was 10 years, although most of the sampled fish were 7 years old. The estimated parameters of the von Bertalanffy growth model suggested that the growth of L. mixtus was relatively fast in the first four years of life. L. mixtus is a protogynous hermaphrodite and sex change occurred at 26 cm, while the greatest increase in gonadosomatic index in April confirmed spring as the spawning period. The cuckoo wrasse is an opportunistic predator, feeding primarily on crustaceans, gastropods and fishes. The information provided on biological indices is necessary for life history pathways and future conservation measures of this population in the Adriatic Sea.


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How to Cite

Matić-Skoko S, Bojanić Varezić D, Šiljić J, Tutman P, Pallaoro A. The cuckoo wrasse, Labrus mixtus (Pisces: Labridae): biological indices for life history and conservation. scimar [Internet]. 2013Dec.30 [cited 2022Aug.10];77(4):595-60. Available from: