Lin Baldock
British Wildlife 35.4 February 2024

The colourful lives and times of British and Irish wrasses

Inshore Fishes of Britain and Ireland (Baldock & Dipper 2023) is the latest title in the Seasearch Guides series, which aims to promote marine recording by making the identification of marine life accessible to divers and other naturalists. Here, Frances Dipper provides an introduction to the fundamentals of fish-recording based on one of our most colourful and charismatic groups of marine fishes, the wrasses.

Finning slowly around a rocky underwater bluff, weighted down and concentrating on keeping that all important air regulator in my mouth, I look up and find my clumsy efforts in full gaze of a curious, male Cuckoo Wrasse Labrus mixtus. This was the Isle of Man in the early 1970s, the start of a lifetime fascination with fish and the beginning of my ‘fish voyeur’ PhD.


Natural reflections
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