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The bird wrasse or Gomphosus varius
are a species
belonging to the
natural habitat is rather vast. It extends from
Hawaii, South to Central Polynesia and west to southern Japan. They
inhabit the Indian Ocean, the Red Sea and off the coastlines of western
unique looking creatures are named for their elongated
snouts that bear a striking resemblance to a bird’s beak.
each sex has its own distinctive color palette. Males typical range
from a greenish blue to a dark or medium green. The anterior of the
females' bodies are a creamy off-white with a dark
black anterior. Their color is so different from one another that they
are often referred to as two entirely different fish, a green bird
wrasse or a brown bird wrasse. Juveniles
both sexes have a brownish coloration. The elongated
beak that this fish is named after doesn’t develop until
is marketed under a myriad of names;
Birdfish, Blue Bird Wrasse, Blue-Green Bird Wrasse, Black Bird Wrasse,
Brown Bird Wrasse, Green Bird Wrasse, Indian Ocean Bird Wrasse, and Red
Sea Bird Wrasse.
are among the larger saltwater tank fish. They will
reach an adult size of 11 to 12 inches in length. A minimum tank size
of 100 gallons is recommended. This is a very active species that is
always on the move. They require an abundance of wide open spaces to
swim in. If you are considering purchasing one be forewarned: They are
accomplished jumpers and have been known to leap out of open aquariums.
You should also provide them with plenty of rock work and caves. If
they do not bury themselves in the substrate to sleep at night, they
will lay on top of it under the shelter of one of these decorations.
are a hardy
fish. They acclimate well to aquarium
life. Their overall temperate is considered semi-aggressive. They will
make for better community dwellers when housed with fish of similar
size and attitude. Do not keep them with more docile species. You
especially want to avoid mixing them with smaller fishes with elongated
bodies. You may wake up with one less fish in your tank.
Never add two males to the same aquarium. Their temperament will
escalate from semi to extremely aggressive. A male female combination
is fine. You can have a single female or several. Introduce the
female(s) to the new surroundings first. Then follow up with the male.
In the wild a single male will preside over harem of females.
Nature has a unique way of propagating the species in these fish. When
separated from the harem, a single female will transform into a male.
Once this transformation is complete the new male will start a harem of
This fish is a devout carnivore. Their elongated beaks are used to
snatch up small crustaceans and smash the against the ocean floor until
they are suitably bite sized. Accordingly, they do not make good marine
reef inhabitants. They will eat the smaller decorative creatures in
In captivity these fish can be fed vitamin enriched brine shrimp,
mysis shrimp, carnivorous based frozen foods, or small bits of fresh
seafood (especially crustaceans) purchased from your local grocery
store. They should be fed three times daily.
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Saltwater & Marine
Fish Care & Breeding Guide
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