Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)
Family: Labridae (Hogfish, Wrasses)
Natural Range: Indo-Pacific Region
Depth: 3 to 66 ft. Size: 12 in. Jumps: Yes Space: 135+ gal.
Reef Safe: Yes Care Level: Difficult Temperament: Caution
Diet: Mollusks, sea urchins, brittle stars, bristle worms, crabs
Natural History: The Dragon Wrasse is found on exposed reef flats and seaward reefs with sand and rubble and moderate current. Juveniles are associated with the bottom where they float over the substrate and appear as a 'leaf'. Adults feed by moving rocks to expose the invertebrates below, which they then eat. It sometimes observed to work in pairs to feed. The juvenile form exhibits long dorsal fin spines that are lacking in the adult form. This species burrows in sand at night.
Husbandry: Large Dragon Wrasses are territorial and will be aggressive toward other wrasses in an aquarium. Adults will move rock and coral to find prey in an aquarium. They should be housed in a fish-only system with other aggressive tankmates. They will likely feed on ornamental crustaceans. They are hardy and will eat almost any meaty food offering.
AKA: Rockmover Wrasse, Reindeer Wrasse
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