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Redcheek Wrasse

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Redcheek Wrasse: The Most Unusual Fish of the Sea

The Redcheek Wrasse is a unique species of fish found in many areas of the world. It has a reddish-orange body and bright blue cheeks, which give it its name. While the fish is certainly beautiful, there are many other interesting facts that make Redcheek Wrasse a fascinating species.

Scientific Classification

All species of wrasse belong to the Labridae family. Within this group, the Redcheek wrasse is classified as Stethojulisinterrupta. It can be found in the Indian Ocean and western Pacific Ocean, making it quite cosmopolitan. It is one of the more widely distributed species of wrasse found in areas as widely varied as Hawaii and India.

Appearance and Behavior

The Redcheek wrasse is an active and hardy species, which makes it an ideal aquarium fish. It has a deep body shape with a much larger head. Its body is adorned with attractive reddish-orange stripes, yellow dorsal and caudal fins, and its trademark bright blue cheeks. It is a relatively large species with males reaching up to 30 cm in length.

This active species isn’t shy and will often spend its time during the day swimming around in search of its favorite foods. It feeds primarily on crustaceans, mollusks, and small fish found in the coral reef or near the sea grass beds.

Redcheek Wrasse two

Reproduction and Lifespan

The Redcheek wrasse is a protogynous hermaphrodite, which means it has both male and female reproductive organs. As a juvenile, it is female and will sometimes change sex to become male as it matures.

Mature wrasses can also form into small groups of one male and up five females. The male wrasse will guard the females in an effort to boost their survival and increase the chance of reproductive success.

Redcheek wrasses typically live for up to 10 years in the wild, though they can reach 20 years of age with proper care. In captivity, they can live for up to 20 years of age.

Purpose and Aquaculture

Many different countries around the world have taken an interest to the Redcheek wrasse over the years, primarily because of its attractive appearance and hardy nature. This makes it an ideal aquaculture species to farm with no need for additional feeding.

This particular species has been raised in hatcheries and then released into the wild to help promote increased biodiversity in certain areas. The released wrasse can then help support natural reef systems and the species that are dependent on these habitats.

Interesting Facts About the Redcheek Wrasse

The Redcheek wrasse is an interesting species of fish and there are some fun facts about them worthy of sharing.

First, the red cheeks of the Redcheek wrasse have inspired its common name of ‘Redcheek mushmouth’.

Second, the female Redcheek wrasse can lay up to 1,500,000 eggs each year and the male will protect them until they hatch.

Third, the Redcheek wrasse is a popular aquarium fish and it is able to live peacefully with other species of tank inhabitants.

Finally, the Redcheek wrasse can change its shape after it eats a certain amount of food. This makes it one of the most interesting animals in the sea and a must-have for many fish tank owners.

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