By Bob Goemans
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Dr Gs Marine Aquaculture 


Cirrhilabrus lanceolatus

Randall & Masuda, 1991

Longtail Fairy Wrasse

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Indo-West Pacific Ocean: Japan - Izu to Ryukyu Islands.

Size: 3 inches (8 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits steep seaward reefs and usually found at depths between 130 – 200 feet (40– 60 m) where it feeds on zooplankton.

General Husbandry: Rarely seen in the trade with the male generally having reddish body with bluish line from the snout, over the eye and along the back. and a centrally extended tail.

Can be maintained in reef or fish-only aquariums that should have ample crevices and caves, and peaceful tankmates.

As to diet, will eat most regular aquarium foods, e.g., finely chopped various frozen or fresh meaty foods such as mysis, squid, fish flesh, shrimp, clam, etc., and should be offered two to three times daily.

Not a lot of husbandry exists for this species, therefore it’s not recommended for those new to the hobby.


    Order: Perciformes

    Suborder: Labroidei

    Family: Labridae

    Genus: Cirrhilabrus

FYI: Those in this genus may hide for several days when first introduced, and are also good jumpers, therefore covered aquariums, possibly with eggcrate, are necessary to prevent them from jumping out of the aquarium.

They don't bury themselves in the sand at night, as do many other wrasses. Instead, they may form a mucus cocoon similar to some parrotfishes and/or wedge themselves into a rock crevice. It should be noted the cocoon remnants do not seem to harm water quality or other aquarium inhabitants.

Experience Level: Intermediate

Temperament: Peaceful

Diet: Carnivore

Coral Safe: Yes

Fish Safe: Yes

Invertebrate Safe: Yes

Acclimation Time: 30 minutes+

Aquarium Environment: Reef or fish-only aquarium

Tankmates: Peaceful

Minimum Tank Size: 50 gallons

Temperature Range: 74 - 80°F (23 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Cirrhilabrus lanceolatus (Longtail Fairy Wrasse)
Photo © John Randall
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