|Latin name||Macropharyngodon bipartitus|
|Local name||Blue Star Leopard Wrasse|
|Family||Labridae - Macropharyngodon|
|Origin||East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean|
|Max length||13 cm (5,1")|
|Minimum volume||400 cm (106 gal)|
|Suitable for aquarium||Experience, preparation and extra care required|
|Reef safe||Always reef safe|
Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
It is preferable that this species should be able to find all of its own food in the tank.
It can therefore be very challenging to keep it in an aquarium, as it so easily runs out of food.
This species is very sensitive during transportation and acclimatizing into the aquarium.
This species needs a minimum of 2 inch (5 cm) of sand in the aquarium bottom, so it can dig itself down when afraid or needing to sleep.
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.
This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.
Several specimen of this species can coexist in the same aquarium, provided they are introduced simultaneously.
This species can change gender from female to male.
When a male is needed, a female changes sex and takes on the role.
Leopard Wrasses have fascinating colours and patterns, but they are not for the novice because of their nutritional and dietary needs.
One must have a well established aquarium where these fish can find their own food in the form of small snails and pods. If there is not enough food they will slowly die, due to malnutrition. This means too, that it is a bad move to keep them with competitors for the same foods, such as Mandarinefish, unless one is absolutely certain that there is sufficient to go around.
One should supplement their diet with various kinds of frozen foods, several times daily.
These Wrasses dig themselves into the sand when feeling threatened or when needing to sleep.
If they are transported in a container without sand, can they be injured in the area around their mouth, this is something which must be checked when selecting fish in the fish store. They have an excellent biological clock, but after transportation it takes a bit of time before it starts working properly again.
One must not introduce Leopard Wrasses into an tank with aggressive fish, as then it will be hard to get them to eat.
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.
Henry C. Schultz. 2002. The Leopards of the Reef - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Bob Fenner. Leopard Wrasses, the Genus Macropharyngodon; Hardier Than They Used To Be - Wet Web Media - (English)
Terry Siegel. 2003. Editorial: March 2003 - Advanced Aquarist - (English)
Bob Fenner. 2011. Leopards for the Reef - Tropical Fish Hoppyist Magazine - (English)
Scott W. Michael. 2009. Wrasses and Parrotfishes (Reef Fishes Series Book 5) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
"Minimum volume" indicates the size of the tank needed to house this species under optimal conditions.
This is based on a medium size animal, which you want to keep for several years.
It might be possible to keep smaller specimens for a limited period in a smaller tank. A larger tank might be needed for fully-grown specimens.
"Hardiness" indicates how resistant this species is to disease and how well i tolerates bad conditions in general.
Some species doesn't handle transportation very well, but that doesn't mean that the species isn't hardy under the right conditions.
In this case, a "normal" aquarium is a reef aquarium with mixed corals or a fish only aquarium with an approximately salinity of 1.026 (sg) and a temperature close to 26°C.
Species requiring more than a 4000-liter tank are considered not suitable for home aquarium.
Special aquariums may cover tanks with low salinity, sub-tropical temperature, deep sand bed, sea grass etc.
Always reef safe: No sources indicate that this species will harm corals or other invertebrates.
Often reef safe: Only a few aquarists has reported problems keeping this species with corals and other invertebrates.
Reef safe with caution: This species may be a threat to some types of invertebrates.
Reef safe with luck: Most specimens will harm corals and/or other invertebrates, but you might be lucky.
Not reef safe: This species is a threat to most corals and/or other invertebrates.