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Ballan wrasse

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Title: Ballan wrasse  
Author: World Heritage Encyclopedia
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Subject: Bergylt, Ballan, Manx English, List of common fish names, Jersey
Collection: Fish of the Atlantic Ocean, Labrus
Publisher: World Heritage Encyclopedia

Ballan wrasse

Ballan wrasse
Scientific classification
Kingdom: Animalia
Phylum: Chordata
Class: Actinopterygii
Order: Perciformes
Suborder: Labroidei
Family: Labridae
Subfamily: Labrinae
Genus: Labrus
Species: L. bergylta
Binomial name
Labrus bergylta
Ascanius, 1767
  • Labrus comber Bonnaterre, 1788
  • Labrus ballan Bonnaterre, 1788
  • Labrus maculatus Bloch, 1792
  • Labrus neustriae Lacépède, 1801
  • Labrus balanus J. Fleming, 1828
  • Labrus variabilis W. Thompson, 1837
  • Crenilabrus multidentatus W. Thompson, 1837
  • Labrus reticulatus R. T. Lowe, 1839
  • Labrus donovani Valenciennes, 1839
  • Labrus nubilus Valenciennes, 1843

The Ballan wrasse (Labrus bergylta) is a species of wrasse native to the northeastern Atlantic Ocean from Norway to Morocco, including the islands of Madeira, the Azores and the Canary Islands. They can be found at depths from 1 to 50 m (3.3 to 164.0 ft) amongst rocks, seaweed and reefs. It can grow to 65.9 cm (25.9 in) in total length (though most do not exceed 50 cm (20 in) standard length), and the greatest recorded weight of this species is 4.4 kg (9.7 lb). All Ballan wrasses are female for their first four to 14 years before a few change into males. Large Ballan wrasses are almost certainly male.[2]

This species is popular as a food fish in the Orkney Islands and in Galway.[3]

In recent years, it has become a popular catch-and-release target for sport fishermen using light fishing tackle, particularly those employing soft plastic lures.[4]

It can also be used to clean sea lice from Norwegian farmed salmon;[5] the technique is also being developed in Scotland.[6]

This species can also be found in the aquarium trade.[2]


  1. ^ Pollard, D. 2010. Labrus bergylta. In: IUCN 2013. IUCN Red List of Threatened Species. Version 2013.1. . Downloaded on 10 November 2013.
  2. ^ a b Froese, Rainer and Pauly, Daniel, eds. (2013). "Labrus bergylta in FishBase. August 2013 version.
  3. ^ Alan Davidson, North Atlantic Seafood, 1979, ISBN 0-670-51524-8.
  4. ^ David Erwin, Bernard Picton, "Guide to Inshore Marine Life" The Marine Conservation Society 1987 ISBN 0-907151-34-5
  5. ^
  6. ^

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