Dave Wolfenden takes a look at a fabulously coloured marine wrasse which is suitable for the reef tank.
Scientific name: Anampses femininus.
Common name: Blue-striped orange tamarin wrasse.
Origin: South Pacific, from Australia to Easter Island.
Habitat: Juveniles are found in relatively shallow water, adults to about 30m/100’ and in rocky and reef habitats.
Adult length: To 25cm/10”.
Tank size and set-up: 120 x 45 x 45cm/48 x 18 x 18”, to include rocky aquascaping and fine sandy substrate to allow for foraging.
Water conditions: This fish needs excellent quality water and will quickly go downhill if conditions deteriorate.
Diet: Accepts a wide range of fresh, frozen and processed feeds, including Mysis, chopped mussel and flake. Feed regularly.
Is it reef safe? Yes. It’s well behaved with sessile invertebrates, although delicate ornamental shrimp, small crabs and other small mobile invertebrates will be attacked.
Tank mates: Best kept without conspecifics in all but the largest aquaria, as they can be very territorial — and never keep more than one male in the same aquarium. Heterospecific tank mates should be peaceful or semi-aggressive species. Large predatory or overly boisterous fish are a no-no.
Sexing: The species name is derived from the extravagant coloration of the female. Sexual dichromatism (difference in coloration between sexes) is seen in A. femininus, with protogynous hermaphroditism the rule. All start out as female, with some entering the terminal phase and becoming male.
Females are bright orange with electric blue stripes leading to a blue posterior portion of the body. Males have vivid blue markings on a subtle orange-brown background.
Breeding method: They are broadcast spawners in the wild, doing so randomly in large groups, but there are no reports of captive breeding.
Notes: This is only for experienced aquarists with established systems. It tends to be sensitive in transit and careful acclimatisation and quarantining are mandatory.
Price: Expect to pay £180 as they are infrequently collected.
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