Fish Type: Wrasse
Scientific Name: Halichoeres margaritaceus
Max Size: 5"
Minimum Tank Size: 90 gal
Relative Care: Moderate
Photo Courtesy of Live Aquaria
The Pearly Wrasse features an attractive sage green body coloration beautifully decorated with irregular scribbles of pink. This coloration allows the Pearly Wrasse to blend into weedy or algae-covered reef surfaces where it is commonly found especially in areas of strong surge. The Pearly Wrasse is one of the several species where the juvenile and female stages are nearly identical.
The Pearly Wrasse is a burrowing wrasse well adapted to feeding on benthic invertebrates. As such, the ideal aquascape should include an open area where the Pearly Wrasse has easy access to fine, sandy substrate. A depth of at least 2-3 inches provides the Pearly Wrasse the appropriate refuge if frightened. A tight-fitting lid is also recommended. An established aquarium 90 gallons or larger stocked with other passive tank mates makes an ideal environment for the Pearly Wrasse.
The Pearly Wrasse will eat fireworms and pyramidellid snails, protecting corals and clams. In addition, it may eat feather dusters, small shrimp, tubeworms, and flatworms. It may also eat parasites off of tank mates when young. The Pearly 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.