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Wrasses, a family of fish of the order Percomor-phi.
The coloring in abridae, especially in the males, is vivid (bright red, light blue, purple, or orange stripes and spots on a yellowish or green background) and changes according to conditions. The body length in the majority of the family’s species is 10–30 cm and the weight, approximately 250 g; some species (for example, Cheilinus undulatus) are as long as 1.8 m and weigh as much as 27 kg. About 50 genera are known (embracing 400 species), found near the shores of all tropical and subtropical seas, but a few species can be found along the European shores of the Atlantic as far as Norway and along the American shores as far as Cape Cod. Labridae are characteristic fauna of coral reefs. Their biology of reproduction is quite varied; some deposit their roe in nests of algae and guard it. The majority feed on benthos (mainly mollusks), but there are also herbivorous species. They are not of great commercial significance. In the Black and Azov seas of the USSR there are eight species, of the genera La-brus, Crenilabrus, Ctenolabrus, Symphodus, and Coris; the most common is the green wrasse Crenilabrus tinea.
A. A. SVETOVIDOVA