Radiant Wrasse Male



Radiant Wrasse.

  • Radiant Wrasse Male
  • Halichoeres iridis
  • Care: Intermediate
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Group Size: Alone, pair or harem
  • Place of origin: Atlantic and Indian Ocean.
  • Reef Safe: Generally yes
  • Critter Safe: Species/Size dependent

Radiant Wrasse Male, Halichoeres iridis, also go by the name Rainbow Wrasse or Iridis Wrasse. As the names suggest, these fish display a number of amazingly bright colours. They have deep purple bodies and red backs. Their faces are a stunning yellow and show off iridescent green stripes.

Like all members of the Halichoeres genus, males and females are sexually dimorphic. Meaning they look different even though they are the same species. Some differences are more prominent than others. Females have two dark spots along their ornate dorsal fin. Males however lack these eye spots. Instead, their facial markings are bolder, and they have a green cap on their head.

Halichoeres wrasse are found in the Indian, Pacific and Atlantic Ocean. The etymology for the genus is ‘Salt’, (alis) and ‘Pig’ (choiros).

Radiant Wrasse Male, Halichoeres iridis, Ecology. 

These fish live around the African and Madagascan coast.

They live in a mix of habitats, such as: coral reefs, sandy or rocky areas. The complex structures in the habitat help the wrasse avoid predation. Failing that, Male Radiant Wrasse quickly vanish by burying themselves in the sand bed. These Wrasse live in social groups with one top male to a few or more females. Radiant Wrasse are also protogynous hermaphrodites. Which means when the dominant male perishes, the largest female in the group will turn male. It will then become the new breeding male. As a result, all juvenile Radiant Wrasse, are in fact immature females.

In the wild, Male Radiant Wrasse flit in amongst crevices, seeking out small invertebrates. Their eyes are disconjugate, making them incredibly effective hunters. They can also handle larger prey, thanks to their bashing technique. Where they chuck a prey item against rock to break it up.

Halichoeres wrasse could be helpful for dealing with pests. Such as nuisance snails, polychaete and nudibranchs, but may be risky with some kinds of ornamental critters. We recommend giving us a call to answer any compatibility questions you may have.

Rainbow Wrasse or Iridis 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.

Radiant Wrasse Male 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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