Reef to Rainforest: Discovering Tropical Species, Places, Nature

Unarmed Perchlet

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Plectranthias inermis - Randall, 1980
Unarmed Perchlet

A delightful character, perfect for smaller reef tanks. Scott W. Michael

[edit] Overview

This attractive little fish is ideally suited to the smaller tank or nano-reef. It is easy to feed, fairly disease-resistant and highly likable for its behaviors and character. (Despite its labeling by fishsellers, it is not a hawkfish, but a close relative—a bottom-dwelling anthias.)

Family: Anthiinae

Other common name(s):

  • Highfin Perchlet
  • Geometric Hawkfish
  • Hawkfish Anthias

Native range:

Habitat: Reef. Its natural tendency is to lurk within rocky hiding places, resting at the entrance of a shelter, making brief forays into the open. Provide it with nooks, crannies and caves.

Maximum length: 5 cm (2 in)

Minimum aquarium size: 38 L (10 gal)

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

General swimming level: Near substrate.

[edit] Feeding

Carnivore. Feed at least once daily with meaty frozen and fresh foods, including mysid shrimp and enriched brine shrimp.

[edit] Aquarium Compatibility

The Unarmed Perchlet can be quite secretive, but will spend more time in the open with dither fish species, such as Chromis spp., flasher wrasses or forktail blennies. It is prone to jumping, especially from tanks without adequate shelter and hiding places.

[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

More than one of these likable little perchlets can be kept in a medium to large aquarium. However, males may fight (males are generally larger than females). House it with small, ­passive fish species (blennies, smaller cardinalfishes, small wrasses, dragonets, gobies, dartfishes). Its small size also makes it a potential meal for large fish eaters and a target of benthic bullies (e.g., dottybacks, hawkfishes). Larger specimens may eat nano-gobies and tiny shrimp, but it is generally safe with ornamental invertebrates.

Reference: 101 Best Saltwater Fishes
Image credit: SWM
Text credit: SWM
Facts about Unarmed PerchletRDF feed
Common name Unarmed Perchlet  +, Highfin Perchlet  +, Geometric Hawkfish  +, and Hawkfish Anthias  +
Family Anthiinae  +
Genus Plectranthias  +
Image credit SWM  +
Maximum length 2 in  +
Minimum aquarium size 10 gal  +
Native range Indo-West Pacific  +
Reference 101 Best Saltwater Fishes  +
Specific name inermis  +
Swimming level Near substrate.  +
Text credit SWM  +
Water max temp 301 K (28 °C, 82 °F)  +
Water min temp 297 K (24 °C, 75 °F)  +
Water type Marine  +