This question is too good not to archive here: Heh, yes, the more beautiful the species, the more rare, and the more expensive. Wrasse collecting isn't for the budget minded. We really need to start at the beginning to answer your real question here... All wrasses are born female. Wrasses are protogynous hermaphrodites, meaning females transition to male in the wild as harem conditions and space require. Once a female beings to transition to male, they go through two primary phase, initial phase male and terminal phase male. And now those terms have probably been self-defined. At the terminal phase, a full transition has been completed and the fish is 100% male. Up until that point, they are in an initial phase. In a harem, they will only be one terminal phase male, which is essentially the alpha male. This is also what some people call a "super male". It's at this point, the coloration and pattern on the fish is the most vivid and vibrant. There often are other initial phase males in a harem, but they will not complete the transition unless the terminal male becomes absent. It is not impossible for an initial phase male to revert back to female in certain circumstances, but this is not the norm. However, as I've implied, the initial phase can be "paused" essentially, if need be. Therefore, the rate of transition is quite variable; it can last anywhere from a few days to a few months. The terms "initial phase" is sometimes substituted with "transitional phase". Also, most genera are sexually dichromatic, meaning there's a notable difference in color/pattern between the sexes. If you know your wrasses well, it's fairly easy to tell if they're female or male and in what state. Life expectancy is extremely variable and depends on so many factors it's not really definable. A terminal male can be quite young, or quite old. There's no real telling. Size can be somewhat of an indicator, but even that's not absolute. However, if the maximum size of the species is 5" and you've found a terminal male that's 5.5", chance are it's somewhat old. In that sense, I'd rather have a terminal male that's more near to 4". But regardless, I wouldn't bank on a wrasse living past 5-6 years. What you buy is personal preference. The best, most colorful specimens (terminal males) are most certainly older than smaller juvi's. However, a smaller juvi may never reach the coloration and beauty of a true terminal male in a closed system. What you choose in that trade-off is a personal decision.