Put on a pair of shades before viewing this fabulous wrasse, because the Male Vrolik's Wrasse is a true razzle-dazzler. Neon red stripes pop against the iridescent blue and green body coloration, giving the Vrolik's Wrasse a commanding presence. Under the "right" lighting conditions, the Vrolik's Wrasse appears to glow golden-yellow, imparting a fantastic unexpected visual effect. Halichoeres chrysotaenia
, while appearing similar to Halichoeres melanurus
, can be differentiated by its spotted caudal fin, whereas H. melanurus
has lines on its caudal fin that form a single black spot when compressed.
The natural range of the Vrolik's Wrasse is concentrated in the Indian Ocean including the Maldives and Sri Lanka with populations in Myanmar to western Thailand and Indonesia. Though the Vrolik's Wrasse is a reef-associated species, they are typically found in shallow weedy areas of rocky shorelines and not in areas with rich coral growth.
The ideal setup for the Male Vrolik's Wrasse will be a well-established saltwater aquarium of at least 70 gallons in size with a tight-fitting lid. To best recreate a natural reef environment for your Male Vrolik's Wrasse, aquascape liberally with live rock, providing ample nooks and crannies for your Male Vrolik's Wrasse to explore, seek refuge, or forage for food. Be sure to include a large area of open substrate as well as open spaces for swimming. A sandy substrate layer 2-3 inches in depth is essential to provide shelter for the Male Vrolik's Wrasse as it burrows into the sand for the evening or when frightened. House the Male Vrolik's Wrasse with other peaceful wrasses, including members of its own species.
The natural diet of the Male Vrolik's Wrasse consists of benthic invertebrates and as such, large, hungry Male Vrolik's Wrasse will eat fireworms and pyramidellid snails, protecting corals and clams from these undesirable invertebrates. Though this hearty appetite for invertebrates seems beneficial, keep in mind that the Male Vrolik's Wrasse cannot differentiate between "undesirable" and "desirable" invertebrates. If the opportunity presents itself, the Male Vrolik's Wrasse will most likely make a meal of "desirable" ornamental invertebrates including fan worms, shrimp, and other crustaceans in the home aquarium. However, the Male Vrolik's Wrasse typically will not harm sessile invertebrates including soft or stony corals.
In the home aquarium, the diet of the Male Vrolik's Wrasse should consist of a diverse variety of food items including vitamin-enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin-enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with high-quality marine flakes and marine pellet foods. The Male Vrolik's Wrasse will benefit from frequent small feedings throughout the day.
Approximate Purchase Size: Juvenile (Small): 1-1/2" to 2-1/4"; Adult (Medium): 2-1/4" to 3-1/4"