Ballan Wrasse Labrus bergylta

Ballan Wrasse

  Cold and temperate sea fish

Ballan Wrasse Labrus bergylta

Identity card

Ballan Wrasse

Scientific name:
Labrus bergylta
Year of description:
Ascanius, 1767
IUCN Status:
Least Concern

Not Evaluated


Waters of the north-east Atlantic, Norway and the northern British Isles as far as Morocco.


Down to a depth of 50 metres


It measures between 20 and 50 cm but can grow to 60 cm.


Mussels, limpets and crustaceans.


29 years

Ballan Wrasse Labrus bergylta

A small parasitic crustacean called anilocra can live on the ballan wrasse.

It seems that if two anilocra journey on the same fish, they can communicate and even reproduce via the fish's bloodstream.

did you know?

Where is the animal to be found?

It lives primarily in rocky areas. The ballan wrasse lives close to the coast at depths down to 50 metres, in rocky areas, in faults and caves.

How can it be recognised?

  • The ballen wrasse is the largest of all European wrasses.
  • The coat of this fish varies according to its age, habitat, depth and emotional state.
  • It is a fish with a bulky body and fleshy lips.
  • It measures between 20 and 50 cm, but can grow to 60 cm.

What is distinctive about it?

It feeds mainly on mussels, limpets and crustaceans. It uses its molar-shaped teeth to crush the shells and carapaces of its prey.

Where can I find it at Nausicaá?

mankind and shores

Ballan Wrasse Labrus bergylta

Cold and temperate sea fish

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