Up to 40cms long, the Ballan Wrasse or Labrus bergylta can be found all around Britain among rocks and weed down to about 20m. A very approachable fish which has become habituated to divers who sometimes hand feed them. Juveniles have been observed cleaning parasites off other species of fish and very small specimens can be sometimes found in rock pools.
They appear to live in small groups and all are born female. In later life a proportion turn into fully functioning males. They are slow-growing fish and are thought capable of attaining 30 years of age.
North Sea. St. Abbs Marine Reserve