- Species Information
- Scientific Name:Halichoeres cosmetus
- Described:Adorned Wrasse
- Maximum Size:5 inches
The adorned wrasse (Halichoeres cosmetus, Randall & Smith 1982) is highly sought after in the marine aquarium trade due to its rare availability, beautiful coloration, and tendency to eat nuisance invertebrates. In the wild, the adorned wrasse has a large range from the eastern coast of Africa, throughout the Indian Ocean where it inhabits shallow coral and rocky reefs. This wrasse naturally eats pyramidellid snails, fireworms, tubeworms, and flatworms, which it will keep at bay in the home aquarium. The adorned wrasse will thrive in a reef tank with lots of rock work on which to graze and a thick sand bed that it can burrow into at night or when stressed. It is generally reef safe but may bother shrimp or feather dusters. In addition to its constant grazing, these wrasses will readily accept our hatchery diet, frozen brine and mysis, as well as cyclopeeze. Like most wrasses, adorned wrasses are prone to jumping when startled so a tight fitting lid is necessary.
Physical Description– Similar to all fish in its genus the adorned wrasse has a long, streamlined body with a pointed face. It has horizontal stripes of iridescent green and light orange with two dark “eye” spots on its dorsal fin. This fish may often be confused with Halichoeres melanurus or Halichoeres claudia but its coloration is usually more subdued.
Temperament– The adorned wrasse is very peaceful and can be comfortably kept with other wrasses, provided they are different species. Keep with other peaceful fish that will not out-compete it for food.
Size– This wrasse reaches a maximum size of 5 inches and should be housed in 50 gallons or larger to accommodate its active swimming behavior.
Diet– This wrasse naturally eats pyramidellid snails, fireworms, tubeworms, and flatworms, which it will keep at bay in the home aquarium.
Distribution– As mentioned the adorned wrasse has an extensive range from Africa, throughout the Indian Ocean to Australia. The specimens offered through our Sustainable Islands project are from Africa.