Blue Star Leopard Wrasse
- Species Information
- Scientific Name:Macropharyngodon bipartitus
- Described:Blue Star Leopard Wrasse
- Maximum Size:5 inches
- Ideal Tank Size:50 gallons or greater.
The blue star leopard wrasse, Macropharyngodon bipartitus (Smith 1957) is one of the most beautiful, desirable fish in the aquarium trade. This wrasse is highly sought after for its incredible coloration, rare availability, and challenging reputation. The blue star leopard wrasse is known for being difficult to keep in captivity. In the wild, these fish graze constantly on live organisms such as small worms and crustaceans and often starve to death in captivity. At our Sustainable Islands project we spend weeks conditioning these fish to eat prepared foods such as cyclopeeze, frozen mysis and brine, and even our hatchery diet! Rest assured, the immense pressure of transitioning these wrasses to a suitable diet is alleviated when they have been raised at SI. Blue star leopard wrasses are reef-safe but they will eat small crustaceans and copepods in the home aquarium. These fish require a natural environment with live rock for shelter and grazing, and live sand for grazing and to bury themselves when startled, frightened, or at night. Like most wrasses, they may jump from a tank, so a tight-fitting lid is required.
Physical Description– The coloration of blue star leopard wrasses is nearly indescribable. They have a long body shape with pronounced lips and very large pharyngeal teeth. Juveniles and females are red in color with light yellow or white splotches creating a molted pattern throughout their body. On the underside is a dark patch with electric blue splotches. As this fish matures into a male its color changes drastically becoming a mix of green, red, purple, and blue splotches and stripes.
Temperament– The leopard wrasse is very calm and should be housed with peaceful tank mates. It will fight with others of its kind or those in the same genus. They should be housed one per system unless two juveniles are added to a large tank at the same time.
Size– This wrasse reaches a maximum length of 5 inches but due to its extremely active nature and constant grazing it should be housed in 50 gallons or greater.
Diet- At our Sustainable Islands project we spend weeks conditioning these fish to eat prepared foods such as cyclopeeze, frozen mysis and brine, and even our Hatchery Diet!
Distribution– The blue star leopard wrasse is naturally found on the Eastern coast of Africa in the Indian Ocean.