Dragon Wrasse (Novaculichthys taeniourus)
Max Size: 1 foot
Reef Compatible: No
Minimum Tank Size: 180 gallons
The Dragon Wrasse, also known as the Rockmover Wrasse, exhibits fascinating color changes as it matures. Juvenile Dragon Wrasses can display body coloration ranging from maroon to green, adorned with white markings. The fins, particularly the first two dorsal spines, have a distinct appearance resembling a "cow-lick." As they reach adulthood, the large dorsal spines disappear, and their body adopts a captivating light-blue to green hue with impressive darker markings.
To provide a suitable habitat for the Dragon Wrasse, a spacious aquarium of at least 180 gallons is recommended. A 2-4 inch sandy bottom is essential, as these wrasses submerge themselves in the sand while sleeping. While they can coexist with larger or aggressive fish, it's better to house them with more passive tankmates during their juvenile stage. Keeping only one Dragon Wrasse per tank is advisable. Reef aquariums are not suitable for this species due to their habit of rearranging rocks and corals in search of food.
As the Dragon Wrasse matures, its diet consists of crustaceans, snails, shrimp, starfish, smaller fish, worms, and various other invertebrates. They are known to be active foragers, moving corals and reorganizing rocks in the aquarium in their quest for food. To prevent any potential escape, it is crucial to have a tight-fitting lid on the aquarium.
A well-rounded diet is essential for the health of the Dragon Wrasse. Provide them with vitamin-enriched frozen mysis shrimp, frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods. In addition to these offerings, high-quality marine flake and marine pellet food can be included to supplement their nutritional needs.
By providing a suitable environment and a diverse diet, you can witness the intriguing color changes and captivating behavior of the Dragon Wrasse in your marine aquarium.