Profiles of Yellowtail Coris and Red Wrasse Fish

Yellowtail Coris (Wrasse)

Because the Yellowtail Coris Wrasse and the Red Coris Wrasse are the same species, the issue of "which color is this fish: yellow or red?" arises. The correct answer is "both." These lovely saltwater fish are brilliant red as juveniles, with white dots highlighted in black. They are colorful fish with vivid yellow tails as adults. If you choose to keep a Yellowtail Coris Wrasse in your aquarium, you will have the opportunity to see this interesting fish change its spots.

Breed Overview

Common Names: Red Coris Wrasse, Yellow Tail Coris Wrasse, Clown Wrasse, Red Labrid Wrasse, Gaimard's Wrasse

Scientific Name: Coris gaimard

Adult Size: To about 14 inches

Life Expectancy: Several years


Family Labridae
Origin Southeast Asia and the central Pacific
Social Semi-aggressive
Tank Level All levels
Minimum Tank Size 100 gallons
Diet Carnivore
Breeding Egg layer
Care Moderate to difficult
pH 8.1–8.4
Temperature 22 - 26 C; 72 - 79 F

Origin and Distribution

The Yellowtail Coris Wrasse is a reef fish that may be found in the Indo-Pacific, Red Sea, Fiji, and the Hawaiian Islands. It is a carnivore that feeds on mollusks and other tiny invertebrates found on reefs; as a result, it is not regarded a "reef safe" aquarium fish.

Colors and Markings

These little red fish have black-rimmed white patches along their dorsal rim when they first hatch. Adult wrasse have a radically different look than young wrasse. Their brilliant red bodies darken, blue specks appear, colorful yellow, red, and blue markings form on the fins, the face develops orange and green stripes, and they grow a bright yellow tail.


Because Yellowtail Coris Wrasse can be hostile against other species, it's best to have only one in a tank (or a mated pair). Blennies, Butterflies, Boxfish, Clownfish, Hawkfish, Rabbitfish, and Angelfish are some more fish that make wonderful tankmates.

Yellowtail Coris Wrasse Habitat and Care

Most Yellowtail Coris Wrasse aquarium owners purchase their fish as youngsters who have already matured to some extent. This is because little juveniles do not perform well in captivity. It is fairly uncommon for them to wilt and die from a lack of food acceptance, preventing them from consuming the high-calorie diet they require to survive. To avoid difficulties with starving, get a sub-adult specimen that is more than two inches in length and is already feeding properly.

Aquarium owners should keep this species in a big tank (at least 100 gallons) to provide their pets enough of swimming space. Yellowtail Coris Wrasse like to bury themselves in the sand to sleep at night and for safety when scared or tormented, hence the substrate should consist of a two to four-inch layer of soft sand. It's crucial to understand that this species forages for food by turning over living rock and coral. Large people are skilled at this endeavor and may easily shift items about, causing aquarium rock formations to become unstable. This species requires a tight cover and enjoys a highly lighted tank. They can and will leap.

While the species is generally hardy, they are prone to developing internal bacterial infections associated with the bladder due to poor substrate environment in an aquarium.

Yellowtail Coris Wrasse Diet

The Yellowtail Coris Wrasse is a carnivore with two large teeth at the front of each jaw that it uses to eat nails, hermit crabs, crabs, shrimps, mollusks, and sea urchins. It eats not just bothersome bristle worms, but also useful worms such ornamental tube species. Fresh or frozen seafoods, live or frozen brine and mysid shrimp, live glass or ghost shrimp, live black worms, and flake food should be given three times a day on a robust diet of adequately bite-sized chunks of meaty items.

Sexual Differences

Unlike many other fish, the male and female appear remarkably different. Both male and female juveniles have crimson "saddles" with black rims. Males are dark gray with a green stripe behind the gill as adults. Females, on the other hand, have dark blue fur with a crimson fringe.

Breeding of the Yellowtail Coris Wrasse

Yellowtail Coris Wrasse develop mating pairs, and lay eggs in nests. It is very unusual for this species to procreate in an aquarium environment.

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