Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse


Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse.

  • Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse
  • Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis
  • Care: Intermediate
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Group Size: Alone, pair or harem
  • Place of origin: Western Indian Ocean.
  • Reef Safe: Generally yes
  • Critter safe: Generally yes

Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse, Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis, also go by the name Rosy Scale Fairy Wrasse or Red Head Fairy Wrasse.

These elegant beauties make great additions to marine tanks. They have soft peach bodies, beautifully framed by the purple shading in their fins. As the name suggests, these fish feature a deep red colouring on their heads. This shade extends from their nose to just past the ventral fins. Red Velvets have large fins that show off a multitude of hues.

Red Velvets, Cirrhilabrus rubrisquamis, Ecology.

These beautiful fish are found around the Chagos Archipelago and the Maldives, in the Western Indian Ocean.

The complex habitat help the wrasse avoid predation. Unlike some species, these fish do not bury themselves to sleep or hide. Instead, they have quite a nifty trick. In order to sleep safely, Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse find a nook they like. They then envelope themselves in a protective mucus coat. Supposedly, this hides the wrasses scent from predators. These sticky invisibility cloaks do not degrade your water quality like some coral wax jackets’ might.

In Nature, Red Velvet Fairy Wrasse live in groups with one male to a few or more females. Dominant males instigate spawning by preforming their courtship display. He will dash around, showing off his colours to the harem. These fish are protogynous hermaphrodites. Which means that, when they get old enough, breeding females turn into a male. As a result, all juveniles are immature females.

Red Head / Rosy Scale Fairy Wrasse in the Aquarium.

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

Red Velvet Fairy 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, before being offered for sale.


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