Fish Guide

Slingjaw Wrasse - Adult   (Epibulus insidiator)
Family: Labridae (Hogfish, Wrasses)
Natural Range: Red Sea, Indian Ocean, Indo-Pacific Region, Western Pacific Ocean
Depth: 3 to 137 ft.   Size: 14 in.   Jumps: Yes   Space: 135+ gal.
Reef Safe: Caution   Care Level: Easy   Temperament: Peaceful
Diet: Small fish, crustaceans
Natural History: The Slingjaw Wrasse is found on reef faces and slopes with rich growths of stony corals. This species is strikingly sexually dichromatic with females usually being bright yellow while males are dark brown. Females can change gender to male. The juvenile Slingjaw Wrasse is very similar to the possum wrasse (Wetmorella). Juveniles are secretive and hide among corals. Slingjaw Wrasses have been observed to engage in drift behavior where they curl up their tails and float with leaves or debris to possibly feed on unsuspecting fish and move to new reef areas. This fish can extend its upper and lowers jaw to over one-half of its body length. They do this to snatch prey out of rock recesses on reefs. This species has been observed to cooperatively hunt with other species of fish.
Husbandry: The Slingjaw Wrasse is a predator that cannot be safely housed with small fish or ornamental crustaceans. It should be housed singly in an aquarium with plenty of hiding places provided by live rock. This species will learn the sight of its owner and is reported to feed from the fingers of their owners. The Slingjaw Wrasse is generally peaceful and should be housed with other peaceful tankmates.

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