Thalassoma quinquevittatum (Lay & Bennett, 1839)
guys are without a doubt one of Hawaii's most colorful reef fishes.
Although not rare, people seldom see them because they are smallish,
fast-moving, and tend to live on top of the reef in shallow, surge-swept
areas where divers and snorkelers seldom go.
can see from the photos below, color varies quite a bit in these
fish partly because in Hawai`i they hybridize with our endemic Saddle
(as if they weren't already vivid enough) males undergo a dramatic
color change while courting or defending their territories. For
more information on this see the text below, from an expanded edition
of my fish book that will be coming out in several years.