(Image credit: David Harasti)
This fish undergoes many colouration alterations as it ages and changes sex from female to male.
Juveniles have a yellowish brown body. As the fish grows a green band appears behind the head. Older juveniles change the body colour from yellow to green. The head stays yellow and gains irregular pink stripes.
In adults, as the fish ages it undergoes a sex transition into male. Males develop a thick blue horizontal band around the centre of the body, behind the pectoral fins. Colours intensify on the head and fins areas. Pink edges appear on the fins. The pectoral fins turn a bright yellow and blue. The tail is moon shaped.
Similar colouration to Thalassoma lunare - distinguishing features are that T. lutescens pink facial bands are much thicker.
Length: Up to 30 cm
Shallow, protected coastal reefs and lagoons; 1-30 m depth
In New South Wales, log if spotted south of Port Stephens
Species names on the Redmap site are based on the Codes for Australian Aquatic Biota or CAAB (http://www.cmar.csiro.au/caab/). This is updated regularly and lists the approved common name, family, species name and more.
Find further information and images at FISHES OF AUSTRALIA http://www.fishesofaustralia.net.au/