Silver Belly Wrasse Juv/Female


Silver Belly Wrasse.

  • Silver Belly Wrasse Juv/Female
  • Halichoeres leucoxanthus
  • Care: Intermediate
  • Diet: Omnivorous
  • Group Size: Alone, pair or harem
  • Place of origin: Indian Ocean
  • Reef Safe: Generally yes
  • Critter Safe: Species/Size dependent

Silver Belly Wrasse Juv/Female, Halichoeres leucoxanthus, also go by the name Canarytop wrasse or White Belly wrasse. As the names suggest, these slender beauties show two colours. Pure white stomachs nicely offset their vibrant yellow backs.

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. Female white belly wrasse have black spots along their dorsal, whereas males have green and orange stripes across their face.

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

Silver Belly Wrasse Juv/Female, Halichoeres leucoxanthus, Ecology. 

These fish live in the Indian Ocean and Andaman Sea.

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, Silver Belly 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. Silver Belly 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 Silver Belly Wrasse, are in fact immature females.

In the wild, these fish 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.

Canarytop Wrasse in the Aquarium.

It is important to imitate the natural environment by provide plenty of nooks and crannies. There should also be a good sand bed for the wrasse to hide and sleep in.

Silver Belly Wrasse Juv/Female 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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