Harlequin Tuskfish

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Choerodon fasciatus - (Günther, 1867)
Harlequin Tuskfish

A most unusual wrasse, hefty of build with big blue teeth and a generally sweet disposition. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

One of the most distinctive wrasses to make its way into the aquarium world, the Harlequin Tuskfish is an admirable fish, despite its fierce looks and stout blue teeth. While it looks savage, this fish is usually rather mellow, although it can become more aggressive as it reaches full adulthood.

Not safe with many reef invertebrates.

It tends to be a solitary fish in the wild, using its robust canines to overcome the hard-shelled defenses of its crustacean, mollusk, and echinoderm prey.

If at all possible, attempt to acquire individuals from Australia. They tend to be handled with more care and more readily adapt to life in captivity than those from the Philippines or Indonesia.

Family: Labridae

Other common name(s):

Native range:

Habitat: Reef or reef-sand interface. Provide it with plenty of bolt holes and lots of open swimming space.

Maximum length: 25 cm (10 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 shrimp, krill, mussels and color-enhancing prepared rations several times a day.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

It should not be housed with small fishes, as it has been known to prey on those it can catch. On the positive side, it is usually not aggressive toward unrelated fishes that are not a potential meal. Keep just one per tank as they will often do battle unless the aquarium is very large.

Tuskfishes are not safe in most reef aquariums, although they will ignore live corals.

They been known to eat ornamental crustaceans and may be a threat to small snails, clams, echinoderms, and various other invertebrates—its favorite targets in the wild. It will ignore corals, but would otherwise be a poor choice for most reef aquariums.

[edit] Breeding/Propagation

Reportedly forms monogamous breeding pairs. They are egg scatterers that produce pelagic eggs in midwater mating rituals. Both eggs and larvae 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

While it tends to be initially shy, the Harlequin Tuskfish will become a showy member of the aquarium community. It will swim from crevice to crevice, occasionally stopping to look for prey.

Reference: Reef Fishes Volume 5
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Harlequin TuskfishRDF feed
Common name Harlequin Tuskfish  +
Family Labridae  +
Genus Choerodon  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 10 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 55 gal  +
Native range Indo-Pacific  +, Australia  +, Taiwan  +, and Ryukyu Islands  +
Reference Reef Fishes Volume 5  +
Specific name fasciatus  +
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  +