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Queen Coris
(Coris gaimard)


Queen, Coris, gaimard, wrasse, red, clown, yellow-tail, labrid

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Queen coris or Coris gaimard belong to the family Labridae. Queen Coris are members of a group of fish that are collectively referred to as wrasses. There are approximately 50 individual species within this grouping. This wrasse can be found on practically every reef throughout the Red Sea, the Indo-Pacific, and all the way to Hawaii.

Adult species can easily grow to a length of 14 inches in their natural habitat. They rarely exceed 6 or 7 inches in an aquarium. Juveniles and adults look drastically different. Juveniles are almost larvae like in shape. They have bright reddish, orange bodies with large, irregular white ovals outlined in black on their backs. Their anal and dorsal fins grow as they mature until they take on more of a fish-like appearance. Adults are predominantly reddish in color often with a purple overcast. They have neon blue speckles all over their bodies and green stripes on their face. Their caudal fins are bright yellow. These fish are marketed by the aquarium trade under various names including; red coris wrasse, red coris, clown wrasse, red labrid, and yellow-tail coris.

This is a moderately aggressive species. They do not normally bully their tanks mates. However they should only be housed with fish of similar size and lesser temperament. Multiples may be housed together as juveniles but may demonstrate territorial behavior as they mature.  Queens are not suitable for marine reef setups. They will view most of the bottom dwellers typical of a marine reef as a source of nutrition.

This is one of the largest members of the wrasse family and will require a lot of room. A minimum tanks size of 100 gallons is recommended. If you intend to keep this species sand substrate is a must. Three to four inches of sand on the bottom of your aquarium is sufficient. These wrasses will burrow into the sand to sleep or to avoid predation. Any other choice in substrate will greatly diminish your fish’s chances of survival due to self inflicted injury. The queen wrasse carries an expert care level and should not be raised by inexperienced aquarists. This species is not even covered under “the guaranteed to arrive alive” by many online retailers. They do not ship well and should only be purchased from a local retailer.

These are diurnal hunters. They will forage for food during the day and sleep in their burrows at night. They are accomplished hunters. Juveniles are considered generally benign. Adult queens can be very destructive in an aquarium setting. They are known for uprooting anchored species. They will frequently cause significant damage to coral specimens. This fish will literally leave no rock unturned in its search for food.

This is a carnivorous species. In their natural habitat the queen wrasse diet consists primarily of reef invertebrates including; shrimp, hermit crabs, urchins, crabs, mollusks and an occasional tunicate. They may not recognize non-living food preparations as a source of nutrition when first introduced to an aquarium. Vitamin enriched brine shrimp will most likely persuade them to eat. Once they have acclimated to aquarium life their diet can be supplemented with finely chopped fresh seafood such as shrimp, crab and mollusks. They may even learn to accept flaked food and pellets.

Juvenile have a high metabolic rate and a large appetite. They should be fed at least three times a day. Adult fish will be less likely to wreck havoc in your aquarium if they have a readily available food supply instead of having to resort to their natural foraging instincts.  This species is not known to breed in captivity.


Environmental Parameters

Temperature

pH Level Specific Gravity
72-78  °F 8.1-8.4 1.020-1.025

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