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Ballan wrasse


up to 65 centimeters


up to 4.5 kilograms


green-brown with red tints, spotted


maximum 30 years


crabs, shrimp and mussels


lays eggs
maturity: after 2-9 years
number: 500-3000 eggs

  • Dut: Gevlekte lipvis
  • Lat: Labrus bergylta
  • Eng: Ballan wrasse
  • Ger: Gefleckter Lippfisch
  • Dan: Berggylt
Ballan wrasse, Ecomare

Ballan wrasse

The ballan wrasse lives in warm waters and migrates to the north in the summer. When they return again in the winter because the water in the north is too cold, they sometimes stay awhile in the North Sea. That is why they are occasionally caught by fishermen in the winter. Ballan wrasse like rocks and make their nest in the crevices. This nest is fastened with threads of slime. These fish are born as females but change into males after around ten years.

  • Show-off

    Between all of the gray-blue North Sea fish, wrasses are notable thanks to their colorful appearance. That is their camouflage outfit because they prefer to stay in the vicinity of rocky or stony bottoms, which also form a multicolored background. It is difficult to keep them in captivity because they can be exceptionally aggressive for others. Only larger fish, such as adult sea bass and salmon, can survive together with these fighters.

  • Distribution and habitat

    Ballan wrasse are found in the northeastern Atlantic Ocean, including the North Sea. In the winter, adult ballan wrasse in particular swim along the Dutch coast.