Broomtail Wrasse



Broomtail Wrasse.

  • Broomtail Wrasse
  • Cheilinus lunulatus
  • Care: Intermediate
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Group Size: Alone possible pair
  • Place of origin: Indian Ocean
  • Coral Safe: Generally yes
  • Critter safe: Generally no

Broomtail Wrasse, Cheilinus lunulatus, are fascinating and charismatic fish, ideal for adding a colour and activity in a predator tank.

As juveniles, they have striking mottled patterns which help them blend into their environment. A spatter of reddish brown freckles cover their pale green heads. The adults look amazing. Their already broad caudal enlarges, turning into a sweeping blue fin. This naturally lends the fish its name. Adult broomtails also have beautiful deep green heads and fat blue lips. Most of their body is dark and covered in thin red stripes. The pattern is only interrupted by a pale saddleback marking.

Broomtail Wrasse, Cheilinus lunulatus, Ecology.

These fish live in the Indian Ocean. They range from the Red Sea and Gulf of Oman. Broomtails live in mixed habitats. They occur in sandy and rocky areas, as well as around: rubble, seagrass or on coral reefs.

These fish do not appear in groups, instead they form distinct pairs when breeding. Visibly, there is no real difference between mature males and mature females. Broomtail Wrasse are protogynous hermaphrodites. Which means that, when they get old enough, breeding females transition into a male.

These fish have extensive diets. They are able to crack through mollusc and echinoderms, as well as ambush shrimp and fish. Cooperative hunting has been an observed behaviour of broomtail wrasse. This means they can buddy up with another animal and hunt together, communicating with head tilts.

Wrasse in the Aquarium.

It is important to imitate the natural environment by providing plenty of nooks and crannies for the fish to investigate. Hobbyists should invest in a jump guard to prevent any unfortunate mishaps.

Broomtail Wrasse do best when fed a varied diet. They will accept frozen krill and whole frozen fish, that we enrich with garlic and vitamins. These additives are extremely useful for supporting fish immune systems. They will also devour live foods, such as feeder shrimp, or graze on nori. Over time, they will accept high-quality pellet or flake. We adapt all our wrasse to aquarium life before they leave us. We focus on their health, and most are eating a good quality flake food and/or pellet, such as JBL Maris, before being offered for sale.


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