Cheilinus oxycephalus

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Facts
Latin name Cheilinus oxycephalus - Bleeker, 1853
Local name Snooty wrasse
Family Labridae - Cheilinus
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 17 cm (6,7")
As aquarium fish
Minimum volume 700 cm (185 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Not reef safe
Aggressiveness Docile but might be global_aggtemp_might_more_docile
Feed
Recommended Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
Other invertebrates
Beware of
Threat to snails

This species likes eating snails whenever possible.

Threat towards crustaceans

This species poses a threat towards shrimps and crabs etc., which are relatively small.

Keep in mind
Requires a varied diet

This species must be fed with an appropriately varied diet.

Thrive best on their own

These fish flourish better without other members of the same species in the aquarium.

Live food

There is a greater chance of success with this species if one can supply a living feed to allow it to adapt to the tank.

Rearranges rocks and sand

This species has a habit of rearranging rocks and sand.

Make sure rocks are placed securely on the substrate, so they cannot toppled over.

Likes to hide at first

These fish may well hide themselves for a while, whilst getting acclimatized.

Do not disturb the fish while acclimating because it will prolong the process.

Hiding places

This species needs good hiding places, for example, between live rocks.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

This species revels in swimming and requires an aquarium with ample space.

Docile

This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.

Hermaphroditic

This species can change gender from female to male.

When a male is needed, a female changes sex and takes on the role.

Descriptions and further reading
Genus description (Cheilinus)

Fish in the genus Cheilinus are larger than most Wrasses, even up to 6.5 foot (2 metres).

These fish are a threat to most invertebrates -but not corals- and small fish. It is probably necessary to feed with living foods at first and after some time with large pieces of seafood every, or every other day.

It must be noted that even though they can be aggressive themselves when first introduced. They can easily be stressed by other fish, or indeed aquarists, before they are properly acclimatized.

Family description (Labridae)

Wrasses are nearly always seen in reef aquaria, since many of the species are both attractive and useful in battling a range of unwanted invertebrates like i.e. flatworms, pyramide snails.
These fish live of everything from zooplankton to large crustaceans, sea urchins and the like.

The needs and behaviour of Wrasses vary greatly, so it is vital to familiarize oneself with the specific species before buying one.

FishBase
Distribution Indo-Pacific: East Africa to the Marquesan and Society islands, north to Taiwan, south to the southern Great Barrier Reef and the Austral Islands.
English common names Snooty wrasse
Red maori wrasse
Pointed-head wrasse
References and further reading

About references

Scott Michael. 2004. Aquarium Fish: The Cheeklined Maori Wrasse, Cheilinus diagrammus - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Bob Fenner. Maori/Splendour Wrasses, the Genera Cheilinus & (to): Oxycheilinus - Wet Web Media - (English)

Scott W. Michael. 2009. Wrasses and Parrotfishes (Reef Fishes Series Book 5) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)