|Latin name||Opistognathus aurifrons - (Jordan & Thompson, 1905)|
|Local name||Yellowhead Jawfish|
|Family||Opistognathidae - Opistognathus|
|Origin||The Mexican Golf, West Atlantic|
|Max length||10 cm (3,9")|
|Minimum volume||200 cm (53 gal)|
|Suitable for aquarium||Suitable with care|
|Reef safe||Always reef safe|
|Aggressiveness||Docile but might be aggressive towards similar species|
Zooplankton (Cyclops, pods...)
Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
This species is known to jump out of open aquaria.
These fish prefer a substrate which allows it to burrow.
A substrate consisting of sand, coral pieces, shells and small pieces of broken up shells is ideal for them to dig holes in.
One can also arrange rocks to enable the fish to create a hole underneath, making certain they are secure and cannot fall over.
There should be space to enable them to make a hole which is at least 1½ inch (3 cm) longer than their own body.
Other animals digging in the sand, can stress this species, if the aquarium is not spacious enough. Be therefore aware of, for example of Wrasses which burrow at night.
The male incubates the eggs in its mouth.
This species often has a fun and interesting personality.
This species can function in large numbers down to just one.
This species is very shy and docile, so one should be careful when keeping it with more aggressive fish.
This species can be bred in captivity, one can therefore consider asking your local fish store for a captive bred specimen.
There should be a minimum of 2 inch (5 cm) between each Jawfish's cave if one wishes to keep more than one.
A Jawfish couple will sometimes "dance" when mating.
Jawfish (Opistognathidae) live in a small hole, and therefore require a deep sand substrate.
When given the right conditions, one has a good chance for success with keeping them, as Jawfish are fairly easy and hardy. One should not however add them to an aquarium with aggressive fish or others which dig in the sand, unless there is enough space.
Jawfish are known for hopping out of the aquarium, even through the smallest holes. This occurs when they do not have enough time to find a hole before the lights are turned off, so one should try to make a hiding place for them, when newly introduced.
Jawfish will sometimes gasp for air at the surface until they have made a hole. If this behaviour continues, it could indicate that the surroundings are not suitable or that the Jawfish is being disturbed by the other fish, this must be solved in order for the fish to survive.
|Distribution||Western Central Atlantic: southern Florida, USA and Bahamas to Barbados and northern South America.|
|English common names||
|Danish common names||
Scott W. Michael. 2001. Basslets, Dottybacks & Hawkfishes: v. 2 (Reef Fishes) - TFH Publications / Microcosm Ltd. - (English)
Henry C. Schultz. 2002. Let's Jaw About Jawfish - Reefkeeping Magazine - (English)
Bob Fenner. Jawfishes, Family Opistognathidae - Wet Web Media - (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.