Choerodon anchorago

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Latin name Choerodon anchorago - (Bloch, 1791)
Local name Orange-dotted tuskfish
Family Labridae - Choerodon
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, Japan, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 50 cm (19.7")
As aquarium fish
Minimum volume 1000 l (264 gal)
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Suitable with care
Reef safe Not reef safe
Aggressiveness Might be aggressive towards other species
Recommended Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
Other invertebrates
Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
Beware of
Can be a threat to many invertebrates

This species eats shrimps, crayfish, crabs, small bivalves, sea urchins, snails and similar.

Demand a very large aquarium when fully grown

This species needs a very large aquarium when fully grown.

Exactly how big the aquarium should be is hard to say, but the size of this species is such, that it cannot normally be kept in a home aquarium.

Keep in mind
Thrive best on their own

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

Acclimitises best as a juvenile

This species will better acclimatize to the aquarium`s condition if introduced, when young.

Very small individuals can be very delicate.

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.

Frequent feeding

This fish requires feeding several times a day, especially when newly added.

When the fish can find its natural food in the aquarium it requires less frequent feeding. 

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.


This species can change gender from female to male.

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

Can be aggressive

This species can be aggressive when kept together with fish that are very similar, or if they are not provided with adequate space.

Descriptions and further reading
Genus description (Choerodon)

Species in the genus Choerodon become quite large and require plenty of space, as they are very active and intelligent fish. Large individuals are known to spit water upwards from the tank, so site electrical instalations with care.

They can be fed with various kinds of seafood, frozen and dried foods. They should be given food several of times a day, as they are active fish.

They can be aggressive, but if one avoids introducing docile fish, or similar Wrasses afterwards, it should be fine. Large specimens will eat various crustaceans, snails, starfish and sea urchins if they are within reach. They will also move lose corals and stone about in their search for food.

Choerodon fasciatus are less likely to eat invertebrates and move stones and corals then the other species, they can -with care- be kept in a reef aquarium.

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.

Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Indo-West Pacific: Sri Lanka eastward to French Polynesia, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia.
English common names Yellowcheek tuskfish
Yellow-cheeked tuskfish
Yellow-cheek tuskfish
Orange-dotted tuskfish
Anchor tuskfish
Anchor trunkfish
References and further reading

About references

Bob Fenner. Wrasses called Tuskfish, the Genus Choerodon - Wet Web Media - (English)
Gregory Schiemer. 2003. Aquarium Fish: The Harlequin Tuskfish (Choerodon fasciatus) - Advanced Aquarist - (English)

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