By Bob Goemans
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Cirrhilabrus lineatus

Randall & Lubbock, 1982

Purplelined Wrasse

Likely Reef Tank Suitable

Likely Fish-Only Tank Suitable

Range: Southeastern Pacific Ocean: New Caledonia, Loyalty Islands, Great Barrier Reef.

Size: 5 inches (12 cm)

Natural Environment: Inhabits outer reef slopes and usually found at depths between 3 – 200 feet (1– 60 m) where it feeds on zooplankton.

General Husbandry: Occasionally seen in the trade with the male having a purplish body with blue lines on the head, and orange-yellow dorsal, anal and tail fins. Females are similarly, yet paler colored. Colors vary depending upon the age of the specimen, collection areas, and breeding timeframes.

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.


    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.

One male per aquarium.

Experience Level: Beginner

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: 72 - 80°F (22 – 27°C)

Specific Gravity: 1.020 - 1.026

pH: 8.0 - 8.5

 Cirrhilabrus lineatus (Purplelined Wrasse)
Photo © Crystal Bazarnic
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Ocean Nutrition