Aquarium Fish

Dragon Wrasse

posted: 05/15/12
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Dragon Wrasse
Courtesy of Drs. Foster and Smith
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The Dragon Wrasse is also referred to as the Rockmover Wrasse. The juvenile, has a burgundy body with white markings. The fins are also notable in their appearance, especially the first two dorsal spines that form a "cow-lick." The adult does not have the large dorsal spines and has a light-blue to green body with impressive darker markings.

It should reside in a 75 gallon or larger aquarium with a 2-4 inch sandy bottom in which it can submerge itself, since it sleeps in the sand. It may be kept with fish that are aggressive or larger than it is, but house only one per tank. It should not be placed in a reef aquarium. As the Dragon Wrasse matures it will eat crustaceans, snails, shrimp, starfish, smaller fish, worms, and other invertebrates. It also moves the corals and rearranges the rocks in the aquarium to find food. The aquarium should also have a tight-fitting lid to prevent it from jumping out.

The diet should include meaty items such as chopped seafoods, brine or mysid shrimp, live black worms, grass shrimp, and flaked food. Larger specimens may be given small feeder fish.

Fish Facts

Name: Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)

Family: Labridae

Range: Indo-Pacific

Size: Up to 12 inches

Diet: Carnivore

Tank Set-up: Marine: Gravel or sand

Reef Compatible: No

Tank Conditions: 72-78°F; sg 1.020-1.025; pH 8.1-8.4

Minimum Tank Capacity: 75 gallon

Light: High

Temperament: Aggressive

Swimming Level: No specific level

Care Level: Moderate

Reproduction: Egg Layer

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