Coral Reef Series
The Bird Wrasse, or Gomphosus varius, is quite an amazing looking coral reef fish. Oddly, they cannot really be defined by gender and age. Instead, they are either “initial” or “terminal” phase of development and sex. Initial phase wrasses are born male or female. Terminal phase bird wrasses are the very colorful, dominant fish of the species. They are always male, but they were always born female! An initial phase bird wrasse that was born male never becomes a dominant terminal phase male. Pretty confusing to us mammals. In my painting, you can see both an initial (light color with orange snout) and a terminal (dark blue/green) phase fish.