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Yellowhead Wrasse supermale. (Halichoeres garnet) Coral Gardens, Hol Chan Marine Reserve near Ambergris Caye, Belize. Photo by Hal BrindleyYellowhead Wrasse

(Halichoeres garnet)

Fish have sex-changes? Yep! The Yellowhead Wrasse is a “sequential hermaphrodite” meaning it starts life as a female and can change to a male when necessary. Species that begin life as females are called Protogynous Hermaphrodites. They also change colors during a sex change. The individual in this photo has changed to a male.

Less common are Protandrous Hermaphrodite species which begin life as males (for example, clownfish like Nemo! Which means that when Nemo’s mother was eaten by a barracuda at the beginning of the movie, his father would have actually turned into a female. Then Nemo would have probably mated with his father-turned-mother since he was the only male around. But we won’t get into that right now.)

Photo: Yellowhead Wrasse male.  Coral Gardens, Hol Chan Marine Reserve near Ambergris Caye, Belize

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