Meaning of ballan wrasse in English:

ballan wrasse

Pronunciation /ˈbalən/


  • A large European wrasse (fish) of rocky shores and reefs, popular as an angling fish.

    Labrus bergylta, family Labridae

    ‘Some temperate wrasse species, such as the ballan wrasse and Anampses cuvieri, are demersal nest builders.’
    • ‘The North Sea is not the greatest place for fish but on any dive you are likely to see pollack, coalfish, ballan wrasse, anglerfish, topknots and ling.’
    • ‘Towards the centre of the pier pipefish, mussels galore, conger and common eels, ballan wrasse and cuttlefish lurked.’
    • ‘Alderney already holds various Channel Island and National records, but I do think it will also one day hold the ballan wrasse record; there are some seriously big wrasse out there.’
    • ‘More ballan wrasse were noted, a vividly coloured male with neon-blue fintips dancing with a smaller female dressed in her usual reds and brown.’
    • ‘I remember catching a ballan wrasse and, on unhooking it, being surprised to find thick white teeth of the sort you might expect to see in a human mouth.’
    • ‘The local ballan wrasse made a few passes to check out the new guests in their neighbourhood, and now and then we could see the silvery flashes of cod out in the green.’
    • ‘As you come up to around 10m, the kelp starts to thicken, and you may see the friendly ballan wrasse that frequent the site.’
    • ‘Huge ballan wrasse are busy selecting occasional morsels from the rock.’
    • ‘Today she is well broken up but makes an interesting dive, with shoals of pollack and friendly ballan wrasse that like to be hand-fed.’
    • ‘There were a few pretty ballan wrasse, and a brilliant male cuckoo wrasse in its mating colours - its snout a deep electric blue.’
    • ‘Fish life includes goldsinny, cuckoo and ballan wrasse.’
    • ‘As you approach, you will come across prolific numbers of friendly ballan wrasse, which may escort you on your dive, often swimming within inches of your mask.’
    • ‘This is the prettiest part of the dive, with rocks covered in dead men's fingers and jewel anemones, lots of ballan wrasse and all sorts of clinging crustaceans.’
    • ‘As well as being covered in plumose anemones and dead man's fingers, there always seems to be an abundance of colourful cuckoo and ballan wrasse.’
    • ‘Both are usually home to large families of ballan wrasse.’
    • ‘The sides are festooned with plumose anemones and mussels, and there is a large family of ballan wrasse that are well used to visiting divers.’
    • ‘The gully this forms between the rock and the rocky ledges that lead across to Broad Craig seems to be a favourite haunt for ballan wrasse.’
    • ‘I was surprised to see a beautiful blue and gold male cuckoo wrasse here one day, as well as the more common ballan wrasse.’
    • ‘Rock cooks can often be seen performing a cleaning service for large ballan wrasse by removing parasites.’


Mid 18th century ballan from Irish ballán, from ball ‘spot’.