Ornate Leopard Wrasse Juv/Female



Ornate Leopard Wrasse, A Highly Desirable Fish.

  • Ornate Leopard Wrasse Juv/Female
  • Macropharyngodon ornatus
  • Care: Intermediate/expert
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Group Size: alone, pair or harem
  • Place of origin: Indo – pacific
  • Coral Safe: Generally yes
  • Critter safe: Generally yes

Ornate Leopard Wrasse Juv/Female, Macropharyngodon ornatus, also go by the name False Leopard Wrasse. Like all members of the Macropharyngodon genus, males and females are sexually dimorphic, as they display different colour morphs.

These fish look amazing. Females have gorgeous blood red bodies. Green swirls cover her face. Pale green pearls also extend from her head to tail. Females have transparent tail fins, that sport small, bright red freckles. Male Ornate Leopard Wrasse have beautiful metallic green bodies. They have the same pattern as the females but the red has faded into a subtle dusky hue.

Macropharyngodon wrasse are found in the tropics and are all known as leopard wrasse. The etymology for the genus is ‘big throat teeth’,  due to the large molar and canines hidden deep in their throat.

Ornate Leopard Wrasse Juv/Female, Macropharyngodon ornatus Ecology. 

These fish range from the: Maldives, Philippines, Sri Lanka and Western Australia.

They live in diverse places, such as coral reefs and lagoons, usually with a mixed sand. The complex structures help the wrasse avoid predation. Failing that, Ornate Leopard Wrasse quickly vanish by burying themselves in the sand bed. These fish feed on shelled plankton, like foraminifera, Arthropods and snails.

Ornate Leopard Wrasse live in social groups with one male to a few or more females. These fish are protogynous hermaphrodites. Which means when the top male perishes, the largest female in the group will turn male and take its place as boss of the group. As a result, all juvenile Ornate Leopard Wrasse are immature females.

False Leopard Wrasse In the Aquarium.

It is important to copy the natural environment by providing plenty of nooks and crannies. There should also be a good sand bed for the wrasse to hide and sleep in. Hobbyists should get a jump guard to stop any unfortunate losses.

Juv/Female Ornate Leopard Wrasse do best when fed a varied diet. They will accept enriched frozen mysis shrimp and enriched frozen brine shrimp. They will also devour live foods, such as copepods and amphipods, that can be cultivated in attached refugium. 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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