Redfin Fairy Wrasse

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Cirrhilabrus rubripinnis - Randall & Carpenter, 1980
Redfin Fairy Wrasse

Colorful and rarely aggressive, this is a good fairy wrasse for beginners. Scott W. Michael


While often overlooked, the Redfin Fairy Wrasse is a striking and interesting aquarium inhabitant. It makes an interesting display when kept in groups with one dominant male and several females.

Family: Labridae

Other common name(s):

  • Red Parrot Wrasse
  • Philippine Flame Wrasse
  • Redfin Wrasse

Native range:

Habitat: Reef or sand-rubble habitat. Provide plenty of hiding places, as well as open swimming space.

Maximum length: 8 cm (3 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 114 L (30 gal)

Water: Marine 24 °C (75 °F) - 28 °C (82 °F)

General swimming level: Near substrate.


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

Aquarium Compatibility

This lovely wrasse is rarely troublesome in the community tank. On occasion, males may scrap with other smaller, red fishes (e.g., cardinalfishes), but these squabbles rarely end in injury. It will quarrel with similar fairy wrasses (e.g., Cirrhilabrus rubriventralis). This wrasse may be bullied by damselfishes, angelfishes, and hawkfishes. This is an active fish that will swim just over the substrate and pick food from the water column.


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.


The males, which have a high, sail-like dorsal fin, blue on the throat and longer pelvic fins, should be kept one per tank. They can be housed with one or more females in a larger tank. In cramped quarters, however, they are likely to chase and pester females incessantly. It is a jumper, so keep the aquarium top covered.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM