Twinspot Maori Wrasse

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Oxycheilinus bimaculatus - (Valenciennes, 1840)
Twinspot Maori Wrasse

A small Maori wrasse and often available in the aquarium trade. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

This is the most common member of the genus in the U.S. aquarium trade and is usually sold as the red Longjaw Wrasse. It is also the smallest Cheilinus spp. and is attractively marked. It is a fairly durable fish that will quickly acclimate to captive life.

Family: Labridae

Other common name(s):

  • Red Longjaw Wrasse

Native range:

Habitat: : The Twinspot Maori Wrasse is typically found in lagoon seagrass meadows, over coral rubble bottoms, and among macroalgae and sponge on coastal reefs. It also occurs in estuaries and harbors. Young individuals are often found living among macroalgae. BiologyIt has been reported at depths of 2 to 110 m (7 to 358 ft.) The color is variable, but it is typically reddish brown overall with white flecks and blotches and a dark blotch behind the pectoral fin. It has orange lines radiating from the eye with a small green spot behind. Males differ from females in having a rhomboid caudal fin with a single elongate filament extending from the top (females have round tails with no filament).

Maximum length: 15 cm (6 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 284 L (75 gal)

Water: Marine 22 °C (295 K, 72 °F) - 28 °C (301 K, 82 °F)

General swimming level: Often near substrate. All levels.

[edit] Feeding

This fish will eat almost anything: small fishes, ornamental crustaceans, and many other motile invertebrates (including snails and serpent stars); bristle worms and small mantis shrimps; flake and pelletized foods, fresh and frozen seafood, and frozen preparations.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

Although it becomes quite aggressive once it has fully adjusted to its new home, if introduced to a tank that contains pugnacious species it may have difficulty acclimating.

[edit] Special Care

Not reef safe; will eat ornamental crustaceans, mollusks, worms, and small fishes.

[edit] Notes

I have observed this species following an Indian Goatfish (Parupeneus indicus) as it fed and joint-hunting with a juvenile Yellowsaddle Goatfish (P. cyclostomus). Males often engage in violent combat. They display at each other, at which time their color intensifies and they erect all their fins. If aggression escalates, they lock jaws, twisting and pulling, sometimes resulting in torn flesh around the jaws. I have seen a pair remain with jaws locked for over 10 seconds. They then separated and began the whole process over again until they were once again engaged in jaw-to-jaw combat. Finally, the loser swam off.

Reference: Reef Fishes Volume 5
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Twinspot Maori WrasseRDF feed
Common name Twinspot Maori Wrasse  +, and Red Longjaw Wrasse  +
Family Labridae  +
Genus Oxycheilinus  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 6 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 75 gal  +
Native range Indo-Pacific  +, East Africa  +, Hawaiian Islands  +, Vanuatu  +, and Southern Japan  +
Reference Reef Fishes Volume 5  +
Specific name bimaculatus  +
Swimming level Often near substrate. All levels.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 295 K (22 °C, 72 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +