Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature

Bluehead Wrasse

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Thalassoma bifasciatum - (Bloch, 1791)
Bluehead Wrasse

This active, eyecatching fish will add swooping flights of swimming action as well as color to the aquarium. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

The Bluehead Wrasse is a very active species that will dash about the aquarium and deserves plenty of swimming room. In a small tank, it will swim incessantly from one end of the tank to the other. It will feed out of the water column and off the substrate. Rather than bury under the sand, it hides in reef crevices during the night.

Family: Labridae

Other common name(s):

  • Bluehead

Native range:

Habitat: Reef. Swimming space is very important as is the ­availablity of rocky nooks where it can dive into shelter. Juveniles will live among the tentacles of the Pink-tipped Sea Anemone (Condylactis gigantea).

Maximum length: 18 cm (7 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 285 L (75 gal)

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

General swimming level: All levels.

Drs. Foster and Smith Inc.

[edit] Feeding

Carnivore. Feed meaty foods, several times a day.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Initial phase individuals (which are yellow and can be juveniles, females or males) are usually amicable, but terminal phase males (green with a blue head) may chase smaller zooplankton feeders (small anthias, flasher wrasses, firefishes, dart gobies). Keep only one terminal male per tank, but you can house the initial phase fish together and/or with a single male. In some cases, yellow-phased individuals may change into terminal males. While young fish are not a threat to most ornamental invertebrates, adults may eat shrimps, small crabs, a variety of worms, and serpent stars.

[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 species is a real jumper—an aquarium top is a must.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Bluehead WrasseRDF feed
Common name Bluehead Wrasse  +, and Bluehead  +
Family Labridae  +
Genus Thalassoma  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 7 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 75 gal  +
Native range Caribbean  +, Western Atlantic  +, Bermuda  +, Florida  +, Gulf of Mexico  +, and South America  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name bifasciatum  +
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  +

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