Cheilinus undulatus
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Cheilinus undulatus
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Cheilinus undulatus
Source: JJPhoto.dk
Cheilinus undulatus
Source: Julien Bidet / CC BY-SA 4.0

Facts

Latin name Cheilinus undulatus - Rüppell, 1835
Common name Humphead wrasse
Family Labridae - Cheilinus
Origin East Indian Ocean, West Indian Ocean, Australia, The Red Sea, Indonesia, East Pacific, Central/West Pacific
Max length 229.0 cm (90.2")

As aquarium fish

Minimum volume Unknown
Hardiness Average
Suitable for aquarium Not suitable for home aquarium
Reef safe Not reef safe
Aggressiveness Might be aggressive towards other species

Food

Recommended
  • Small crustaceans (Krill, mysis, artemia...)
  • Larger crustaceans (Shrimp, crabs...)
  • Other invertebrates
  • Fish

Endangered species

This species is endangered.

An effective invertebrate hunter

These fish will hunt crustaceans, sea urchins and worms in an aquarium, very effectively.

Requires plenty of space for swimming.

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

Hermaphroditic

This species can change gender from female to male.

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

Hiding places

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

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

Aquarium trade Yes
Distribution Indo-Pacific: Red Sea to South Africa (Ref. 35918) and to the Tuamoto Islands, north to the Ryukyu Islands, south to New Caledonia. Formerly known as Vulnerable (A1d+2cd) (Y. Sadovy) but now listed as Endangered in IUCN 2004 and listed in Appendix II of
English common names Humphead, Maori wrasse, Humphead maori wrasse, Humphead wrasse, Double-headed maori wrasse, Giant maori wrasse, Giant humphead wrasse, Humhead wrasse, Napoleon wrasse
Danish common names Napoleonsfisk
French common names Kakatoi vareur, Napoléon

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)

Froese, R. and D. Pauly. Editors. 2014. FishBase. World Wide Web electronic publication. www.fishbase.org, version (08/2014).

Tags

hermaphroditic, eats shrimp, eats crab, eats sea urchin, eats bristleworm polychaete fireworm
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