From Microcosm Aquarium Explorer

Pseudojuloides cerasinus.jpg

Pseudojuloides cerasinus, Smalltail Pencil Wrasse. Scott W. Michael

Family: Labridae

Species in Genus Pseudojuloides:

Reference: A PocketExpert Guide to Reef Aquarium Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM


There are more than 10 species in this genus, but only a couple are regularly seen in the aquarium trade. Although they would seem to be ideally suited for the reef aquarium, Pseudojuloides wrasses tend to be very challenging to keep. Food-habit studies do not indicate that they have specialized diets, but they tend to become emaciated and perish in the aquarium.

Like the leopard wrasses, they do better in a well-established reef tank than in a more sterile aquarium that lacks live substrate. In a reef tank, they will find some natural fodder. The pencil wrasses may feed on frozen mysid shrimp and will usually take live foods (e.g., brine shrimp), but even then they often pine away. Feed them at least twice a day.

They should not be housed with aggressive tankmates. You can keep a male and female in the same tank (most of the species are sexually dichromatic). They are also proficient jumpers that will leap from open tanks. Provide a layer of fine sand (at least 2 in. [5 cm] deep) under which they can bury.