Finspot Wrasse

By Tony Vargas 10 years ago5 Comments

Xenojulis margaritaceus photo by Tony Vargas

Those that know me, know that I am an absolute Geek when it comes to wrasses.  I can spend hours taking photos of just one wrasse before moving on to another.  Again, while visiting Sanjay Joshi, he mentioned to me that he picked up a new wrasse that I would be very interested in and asked if I had seen one before.  The wrasse in question is Xenojulis.

I was floored when I saw this incredible Xenojulis margaritaceus super male, also known as the Finspot Wrasse.  Its long flowing dorsal and anal fins are indicative of an Alpha male.

This is not a rare wrasse by any means, as it can be found in the Western Pacific: throughout the Philippines, Papua New Guinea, and Western and Northern Australia.  Typically, it is found congregating in shallow waters near dense coral growth on coral rubble and sand. It is also found among dense algae growth.

This genus of wrasse seems closely related to Macropharyngodon-they constantly forage for food and sleep buried in the sand. It is a hardy species that requires the same care as most wrasses.  But, like most wrasses, cover the top of the aquarium well to prevent carpet-surfing.



Allen, G.R. and R. Swainston (1988): The marine fishes of north-western Australia. A field guide for anglers and divers. Western Australian Museum, Perth. Page: 118

Allen, G.R. (1997): Marine fishes of tropical Australia and south-east Asia. Western Australian Museum, Perth. Page: 192

Kuiter, R.H. (2002): Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses and their relatives. TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, UK.  Page: 148


 Tony Vargas

  (14 articles)


  • Randy Donowitz says:

    Wow, that has developed into a spectacular fish! I was there when he 1st introduced it and is an interesting fish, but I’ m stunned by how nice it has become.

  • dca22anderson says:

    Great looking wrasse! I’m sure you have more sweet wrasses up your sleeve!

  • Marcin Smok says:

    That’s an incredibly nice wrasse and great photo, period

  • Bradley J Syphus says:

    Great looking guy there. Trying to figure out a way to squeeze one of them in.
    Maybe down the road.

  • Michael Rice says:

    Wow I haven’t seen one that looked quite that good yet. I’d like to hear more about your technique for getting the shot. I haven’t perfect sharp photos of fish yet.

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