News / Company News / Highly Underrated Fish - Carpenters Wrasse (01/23/14)

Highly Underrated Fish - Carpenters Wrasse

In The Wild

Paracheilinus carpenteri ranges all over the tropical Western Pacific, from Taiwan south to Bali. There are also reports of this fish being identified in Tonga. This is a schooling fish, frequently found in harems. They are generally found in rubble fields, leather / soft coral reefs and macroalgae at depths ranging from 20-120 feet deep.

Scott Micheal reports watching them hybridize with Paracheilinus angulatus. From an aquarist's perspective, this makes a lot of sense as we see many Carpenter's Wrasses with subtle differences in coloration. Hybridizing isn't all that uncommon in their genus. The fish pictured below has a somewhat aberrant coloration, and could very possibly be a hybrid. They are prolific breeders, with a population doubing time of under 15 months, making them very resilient to harvest / collection.

The largest male on record is just over three inches long; they are much more commonly seen in the two inch range.

In The Aquarium

Because of their wild proclivity for schooling, this hardy flasher is frequently added in lieu of more expensive anthias. If hobbyists are looking to add these as a group, they should add all the wrasses at once to prevent later additions from being bullied. While these are fairly passive fish, they have been known to be slightly more aggressive with other flasher wrasses once established.

These are a very passive fish that make great additions to reef aquaria, being highly unlikely to bother invertebrates of any type. They require an aquarium with other species who are passive as they are easily bullied into hiding, resulting in them missing meals. To help them maintain the best color, feed a varied diet of nutrient dense foods like mysis, pellets, rotifers etc. Feed them frequently throughout the day.

Scott W. Michael, Marine Fishes, 1st ed. (T.F.H. Publications Inc, New Jersey, 2001).
Rudie H Kuiter, Fairy & Rainbow Wrasses and their relatives, 1st ed. (TMC Publishing, Chorleywood, UK, 2002)
In House Resources: Adam Mangino, Eli Fleishauer