Coris cuvieri, the African Coris is one of many wrasse species which goes all but overlooked in favor of the common coris wrasse, Coris gaimard. Although we occasionally see the African Formosa Coris in the US, the other African Coris (Coris cuvieri) from Indian Ocean is almost never seen outside fo Europe and Asia. This Indian Ocean resident is found widespread in the area, ranging from East African coast to the Andaman Sea which borders on Thailand. Luckily that we do have our own supply from the western coast, Thai aquarists do have an opportunity to see Coris cuvieri with more regularity.
Juveniles of this species closely resemble the cousin from the western Pacific, Red Coris Wrasse (Coris gaimard) but the differences will become apparent as they grow. Coris cuvieri attains the maximum size of 38 cm (15 inches) which is slightly bigger than the Red Coris. Cuvier’s coris wrasse shows a duller orange-brownish skin with green markings that are more noticeable once they are mature. Adult male African Coris has yellow and blue marking on it’s face as well as a greenish-white stripe in the middle of the body, which is absent in females. One feature of Coris cuvieri which is mentioned in first hand accounts of this species but not readily appreciated in images is that it has a green spot on each body scale, a feature which is highlighted by the darkish red body.