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Fish of the Month
Issue: January 2009

Choerodon fasciatus

GÜNTHER 1867

0109 FOTM

TFH Archives

Common Names: Harlequin tuskfish, harlequin tusk, tusk harlequinalia

Type Locality: Cape York, Australia

Range: Western Pacific

Taxonomic Troubles: Originally described as Lienardella fasciata.

Size: 30 cm (12 inches) TL.

Preferred Water Chemistry: Tropical marine.

Difficulty: A hardy, territorial, but fairly peaceful species.

Tank Setup: A large tank with large tankmates is needed. As their territories on the reef are much larger than any standard aquarium, keep only one per tank. Although able to hold its own, this fish is shy and requires plenty of hiding spaces to feel secure. A live r

Feeding: Carnivorous. Natural diet is mostly benthic invertebrates. Fish and seafood meat chunks are ideal. Description: The alternating orange and white bars are edged in various amounts of blue. Australian specimens are considered the most colorful. The four pr

Breeding: Nothing is known about their reproduction, in the wild or in captivity.

Description: The alternating orange and white bars are edged in various amounts of blue. Australian specimens are considered the most colorful. The four protruding teeth are blue. Juveniles are less colorful and have ocelli (eyespots) on the fins.

Notes: This fish is not a typical wrasse. It has no sexual dimorphism and doesn’t sleep in the sand, and despite its large teeth, it usually leaves tankmates alone unless they are small enough to eat. It is generally considered suitable just for fish-only setups, but some adventurous reefkeepers with very large systems have tried this species. Obviously these reef tanks did not include any small crustaceans or small fish—at least not for long!

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