Fish Type: Non-Reef SafeWrasse
Scientific Name: Thalassoma amblycephalum
Aggressiveness: Caution Needed
Max Size: 6"
Minimum Tank Size: 75 gal
Relative Care: Moderate
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria
The Blunthead Wrasse is a beautiful, multicolored wrasse easily identified by its distinct head shape. Unlike most wrasses, the Blunthead Wrasse has a conspicuously rounded or blunted head that is accentuated by its sleek, rod-shaped body. Similar to many wrasse species, the Blunthead Wrasse demonstrates dramatic color variation within individuals based on gender and age.
The Blunthead Wrasse, also known as the Rainbow Wrasse, transforms from a rather non-descript fish to a striking fish demonstrating a vivid progression of lively colors. Initial phase male and female Blunthead Wrasses are nearly indistinguishable. A brownish-black stripe with uneven edges bisects the entire length of the body. A similar dark stripe running parallel along the dorsal region and a flash of orange at the peduncle further break up the primary white coloration of both initial phase male and female Blunthead Wrasses. As an adult, the male Blunthead Wrasses blossoms with vibrant coloration. The anterior region develops a beautiful blue-green coloration that transitions to a brilliant yellow. A gorgeous red body completes the rainbow effect.
The Blunthead Wrasse should be housed in a 75 gallon or larger aquarium with plenty of live rock for hiding and a sandy substrate that may be used for burrowing into at night. In addition to ample hiding places, a large open area is required for the active and fast-swimming Blunthead Wrasse. In large aquariums, several initial phase and juvenile Blunthead Wrasse may be housed together in relative peace. However, as adults, the Blunthead Wrasse demonstrates greater aggression and is best kept singularly in a FOWLR (Fish Only With Live Rock) aquarium with gregarious tankmates.
The Bluehead Wrasse is a carnivore whose natural diet consists of zooplankton including crustacean larvae. As such, the Blunthead Wrasse diet should include vitamin-enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin-enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high-quality marine flake and marine pellet food.