Harlequin Tuskfish

fast facts

About Harlequin Tuskfish

Size
Medium
Group
Saltwater
Temperament
Non-aggressive
Aquarium Size
Large (55 gal)
Swimming Region
All
Suitable Tank Mates
Angelfish, Tangs, Triggerfish
Difficulty Of Care
Weekly care
Fish Water Condition
Harlequin Tuskfish General description


Harlequin tuskfish are a highly colorful species of wrasse that has gained popularity in the aquarium trade. They are characterized by their sharp blue, tusk-like teeth and distinctive body colorations. Tuskfish are also one of the hardier species of saltwater aquarium fish and acclimatize well to life in captivity. Most specimens available for purchase in the aquarium trade come from Australia and the Philippines and are fairly expensive. Juveniles often cost in the excess of $50 while adults can cost thrice as much. When purchasing harlequin tuskfish it is advisable to purchase specimens caught in Australia as they are often in better condition than those from the Philippines.


Harlequin tuskfish are a highly colorful species of wrasse that has gained popularity in the aquarium trade.


Origins


Harlequin tuskfish are native to the Western Pacific Ocean.


Color


Harlequin tuskfish are one of the most distinctly colored species of wrasse. Their white bodies are covered in reddish-orange bands and these bands are often outlined by thin, blue stripes.


Maintenance and care

Harlequin tuskfish are an extremely fast growing species of fish and can often grow up to 8-10 inches in length in captivity. Therefore it is important to house them in a sufficiently large aquarium with wide open swimming spaces. They also prefer aquariums with numerous hiding places to which they can dart into.


Although tuskfish do not harm corals, they should not be kept in reef aquariums. These fish prey heavily on small species of crustaceans and will devour any snails, clams, echinoderms and other small invertebrates on sight. They can also on occasion prey on smaller species of fish and should only be housed with large, more robust tank mates. It is also advisable to introduce tuskfish to an aquarium first if they are to be kept with larger, more aggressive species of fish. Tuskfish are also highly aggressive towards members of their own species and should ideally be kept as individuals.


Harlequin tuskfish are an extremely fast growing species of fish and can often grow up to 8-10 inches in length in captivity.


Feeding


Harlequin tuskfish are carnivores and should be fed on a meaty diet of krill, shrimp, squid and fish.


Breeding


Harlequin tuskfish are protogenous hermaphrodites and can change sex over the course of their lives. When the dominant male of a group of tuskfish dies the largest female of the group will change sex and assume the role of the dominant male. There are no known reports of tuskfish being successfully bred in the aquarium.


Photo credit: Richard Ling/Flickr; drag-my-soul/deviantart

Amy Tokic
Amy Tokic

Amy Tokic, Editor of PetGuide.com, is a passionate animal lover and proud pet parent of Oscar, a Shih Tzu/Chihuahua cross, and Zed, a Japanese Chin. Her love of animals began in kindergarten, when she brought her stuffed dog Snoopy into class with her every day. Now, she writes about her adventures in pet ownership and tirelessly researches products, news and health related issues she can share with other animal enthusiasts. In her free time, Amy loves perusing used book and record stores, obsessing over the latest pet products available and chasing squirrels with wild abandon (a habit attributed to spending too much time with her pooches).

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