Checkerboard Wrasse at Ras Muhammad
A fully grown checkerboard wrasse (Halichoeres hortulanus) swims 45 feet below the surface of Ras Muhammad National Park, Red Sea, Egypt.
Checkerboard wrasse can reach a maximum length of 27 centimetres (11 inches). They are native to the Indian and central Pacific Oceans, preferring clear lagoons and seaward reefs at depths of up to 30 meters (100 feet). Checkerboard wrasse feed on small crabs, shrimp, clams and worms. Like many other wrasses, the checkerboard wrasse starts life as a female and later becomes male, changing sex at maturity when it is about 12.8 cm (5.0 in) long. It's appearance also changes with age, being white with three black and dark red vertical patches when juvenile.