Bluehead Fairy Wrasse

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Cirrhilabrus cyanopleura - (Bleeker, 1851)
Bluehead Fairy Wrasse

With striking colors and good manners among corals and ornamental invertebrates, this is an excellent reef tank species. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

This is one of a number of amazing smaller, shoaling wrasses that exhibit striking colors and that readily adapt to certain aquarium venues. You can keep more than one Bluehead Fairy Wrasse in the same tank, but add only one male per aquarium and one or more females.

This species is sometimes confused with the Redhead Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus solorensis, and the two are suspected of crossbreeding to produce unusual hybrid variants.

The Bluehead Fairy Wrasse should not be introduced into a tank with aggressive tankmates and should always have access to numerous hiding places.

Family: Labridae

Other common name(s):

  • Yellowflanked Fairy Wrasse
  • Bluescaled Fairy Wrasse
  • Blueside Wrasse

Native range:

Habitat: Reef. Good shelter sites are a must to ensure acclimation of the fairy wrasses. They may occasionally live among the tentacles of large-polyped stony corals. They need plenty of swimming room.

Maximum length: 13 cm (5 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 209 L (55 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (297 K, 75 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: All levels.

[edit] Feeding

Carnivore. Feed meaty foods such as mysid shrimp and enriched brine shrimp several times per day.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

This species is rarely aggressive toward fish tankmates with the possible exception of its cousins. Once a male has fully acclimated to aquarium living, it may chase and nip at other fairy wrasses or the closely related flasher wrasses. It is safe with most reef aquarium invertebrates.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Egg scatterers that produce pelagic eggs, often in midwater mating rituals. Both eggs and larvae that drift with plankton in the water column and settle back onto a reef at about the time of metamorphosis. These are among the most challenging types of marine fishes to propagate in captivity.

[edit] Notes

This interesting fish often pops up and down as it moves through the water, in part because of its using its pectoral fins to scull through the water. It is a very accomplished escape artist that will leap from an open aquarium when startled or involved in courtship. It usually feeds from the water column, hunting zooplankton, although it will also pick some food off the substrate.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Bluehead Fairy WrasseRDF feed
Common name Bluehead Fairy Wrasse  +, Yellowflanked Fairy Wrasse  +, Bluescaled Fairy Wrasse  +, and Blueside Wrasse  +
Family Labridae  +
Genus Cirrhilabrus  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 5 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 55 gal  +
Native range Indian Ocean  +, Western Pacific  +, Similan Islands  +, Andaman Sea  +, Christmas Island  +, Ryukyu Islands  +, Taiwan  +, Philippines  +, Papua New Guinea  +, Palau  +, Great Barrier Reef  +, and Rowley Shoals  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name cyanopleura  +
Swimming level All levels.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +