Nothing Mysterious about the Mystery Wrasse’s Charms

Mystery Wrasse (Pseudocheilinus ocellatus)Pseudocheilinus ocellatus, the mystery wrasse (aka the tail-spot wrasse, white-barred wrasse, or five-barred wrasse), is somewhat uncommon in the hobby and usually priced accordingly. But if you can get past the sticker shock for such a modest-sized fish, you’ll find this species can be a worthy aquarium candidate. Physical traitsExhibiting the banana-with-fins morphology typical of so many wrasses, this denizen of the western central Pacific reaches around 4 inches in length. Its yellow-rimmed eyes move independently and seem to be constantly appraising the goings on both inside and outside the tank. Base coloration is quite variable, commonly lavender to pinkish/purplish, while the face is yellow with purple/pink lines. The caudal peduncle is yellow and adorned with a prominent ocellus, or eyespot.

The Petite, Pugnacious Atlantic Pygmy Angelfish

Atlantic pygmy angelfish (Centropyge argi)Having very recently departed the state of Ohio and resettled his family down in the Florida Keys, Caribbean Chris has had to part with his beloved, long-established Caribbean-biotope tank. He’s also had to come to terms with the reality that the specimens he bequeathed to me are now gracelessly intermingled with my Indo-Pacific species. So, to give CC a little inspiration (or torment his soul, either way), I thought I’d dedicate today’s post to a fish species that might be a welcome addition to his new tank whenever he gets around to setting it up—the Atlantic pygmy angelfish, aka the cherub angelfish (Centropyge argi). A denizen of the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean Sea, this dwarf angel is a visual gem and can be a good choice for smaller systems. It is, however, rather feisty for its size, and this trait must be factored in when choosing tankmates, contemplating order of introduction, etc.Physical traits C. argi is blue overall with varying (by individual) degrees of orange-yellow coloration on its face and throat. The eyes are ringed with blue, and most of the fins (with the exception of the pectorals, which are yellow) are very dark blue, almost blackish, with lighter blue margins. Typical of marine angels, this species also has sharp, backward-curving spines on its gill covers (which are prone to getting tangled in nets).

The Harlequin Bass: An Exceptionally Hardy, Beginner-Friendly Marine Fish

Harlequin Bass (Serranus tigrinus)Prized for its striking patterning, modest adult size, exceptional hardiness, and overall adaptability, the harlequin bass (Serranus tigrinus), denizen of the tropical western Atlantic and Caribbean, makes an excellent choice for the novice marine aquarist and experienced hobbyist alike. (In fact, just try to stop Caribbean Chris from keeping one!) Physical traitsThis fascinating dwarf seabass is white to gray overall with meandering black bands forming tiger stripes on its flanks and smaller black spots speckling the rest of its body, dorsal fin, and caudal fin. A yellowish tinge may also be evident on the ventral half of the body. The eyes are positioned high on the head, and the snout is long and tapers to form a point. Maximum size for this species is around 4 inches. Feeding A carnivore that, in nature, feeds primarily on small crustaceans, S. tigrinus will accept a wide range of small, meaty foods in captivity, such as frozen mysids and plankton, finely chopped crustacean or mollusk meat, various frozen commercial formulations for small predators (e.g., Fish Frenzy®), and so forth. Most specimens take to feeding in captivity with little difficulty, and once- or twice-daily feedings are recommended
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