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FAQs on Bird Wrasses: Behavior

Related Articles: Bird Wrasses Sociable to the Point of Exuberance! The Bird Wrasses, Genus Gomphosus by Bob Fenner

FAQs on: Bird Wrasse Identification, Bird Wrasse Compatibility, Bird Wrasse Stocking/Selection, Bird Wrasse Systems, Bird Wrasse Feeding, Bird Wrasse Health, Bird Wrasse Reproduction, Related FAQs: Wrasses 1, Wrasse Selection, Wrasse Behavior, Wrasse Compatibility, Wrasse Feeding, Wrasse Diseases,


bird wrasse sex reversal    9/19/10
We have a green bird wrasse male which over the past 4-5 months has been regressing to a more female appearance.
<Can, does happen>
We have had it for almost two years. It is approx 10-11 inches, was solid green and now the front half has faded and is getting the dark streak by its eyes much like a female. It is in excellent health, a voracious eater and lives in a 180 gallon tank with a group of very compatible cohabitants.
I have not heard of a reversal from ale to female and am curious if this is a routine occurrence.
<Mmm, adding another Gomphosus sp. initial state (female) individual will likely result in the larger one converting back to a male. Bob Fenner>

brown bird wrasse, beh.    8/11/10
Apparently to my astonishment my bird wrasse has decided that she no longer wants to be a she.
At least that is what I think is going on. My question is how long does the transition take.
<A few months generally>
I purchased her from a fish store that the owner had in one of his displays for a couple of years. I have had her for a year myself. The only change in her environment recently, was when our damsel fish went rogue and bullied our midas blenny to death. The damsel was removed that day and we added a blue Koran angel fish ( that was being held in quarantine for me).
Over the past week we have noticed her getting more blue and losing the brownish olive color she had.
I have searched and cant seem to find clear answers on the color change possible sex change. How long the transition lasts. Any advice or pointing me in the right direction will be much appreciated.
<Can be shortened/lengthened depending on circumstances, in particular what is triggering it... larger environment, different foods, tankmate interactions (esp. presence of other Gomphosus)>
Currently in the tank with the Bird wrasse, I have a Foxface, dogface puffer and the recently added blue Koran angel.
<A natural change; enjoy. Bob Fenner>

Green Bird Wrasse 7/14/05 I purchased a pair of wrasses about 2 months ago.  At first the green wrasse cruised the tank, very pleasant and friendly, even eating out of my hand.  The female hid for about three days but then came out to join him.  Lately, the green wrasse hides when I near the tank to feed the fish but the female comes out to join the pack in eating.  Also, the green wrasse doesn't seem to see the food at times.  Any idea what has made the green wrasse begin to retreat from human contact?  Thanks. <... likely the size (lack of it) of the system. Please read here: http://www.wetwebmedia.com/marine/fishes/wrasses/gomphosus/faqs.htm and the linked files above. Bob Fenner>

Green Bird Wrasse We have been noticing lately that sometimes our green bird wrasses tip of his mouth is a red tinged color, after some time, it turns back to his normal beautiful green, but we did not know if this is something to be concerned with?  Any ideas? Thank you for your help. Kimberly <Males of this species do show varying color and color loss in the distal end of their "beaks" at times. See fishbase.org pix for Gomphosus varius... No worries unless you find there to be some bloody markings, or actually observe your specimen damaging itself (like on the tank walls or substrate). Bob Fenner>

Bird wrasses' mysterious flashing >Hi crew!   >>Hello Rich.  Marina here. >I've asked a couple questions in the past and gotten great answers.  I hope you can help me with this one, as I can't find anything addressing this anywhere. >>I'll do my best. >I seem to have a couple of bird wrasses >>You're not sure?  LOL! j/k >(one male, one female) with a strange habit of flashing for no apparent reason.  They don't do it constantly, but have been doing it for at least a couple months now.  There's nothing wrong with them that I can tell!  They eat a ton, are very active, have no external parasites and generally look like beautiful, healthy fish.  No other fish in the aquarium are flashing, and the water conditions are perfect as far as my testing goes (79 degrees, 1.022 SG, 8.2 PH, 0 Ammonia, 0 Nitrites, 0 Nitrates, 13 dKH, and I don't have a phosphate test kit but recently treated the tank with the Kent phosphate sponge)  They get a good variety of diet as well as Kent marine Zoe for some vitamins. >>This is a bit perplexing, I would lean towards a subclinical ich infection, though.  However, usually once they start "flashing" one would expect to eventually see something externally. >Are these fish just weird?   >>Well, I do doubt it, Rich. >I do have a tendency to find strange specimens...I have an eel that swims all around the tank during the day, almost avoiding the 180 lb of live rock, and a banded cat shark that is addicted to 1. laying up against one of the overflows to feel the water running over him and 2. going on a ride across the tank by swimming in front of one of the returns. >>They're just happy fish with their own idiosyncrasies.  The odd thing is this: if you have a subclinical infestation of ich, I would expect the shark to show it first.  You could isolate the wrasses in a q/t and go ahead and treat them with copper or hyposalinity, but you can't treat the shark, and unless you allow the tank to lie fallow for at least 6 weeks, you will just be treating the wrasses only to put them back into the pickle again.  I say that as long as they're not showing any other signs of stress, and as long as no other fish seem to be suffering, it's not something to worry too much about. >Thanks! Rich >>You're welcome, Marina

Wrasse Sex Change Hi! <Hi there-Scott F. here today> I've purchased a small female bird wrasse and am hoping she will turn into a he. <smile> Is there anything that I can do to help her along? Please advise. Thanks! Linda <Well, Linda, in the wild, sex change is determined by social factors, among other things, in these animals. With an individual specimen in your tank, there is not much that you can do to influence this process. Mother nature has the control over that! If your wrasse does start turning green-well- then Mother Nature has granted your wish! In the meantime, just give the fish a good home with proper care, and she/he will live a happy, healthy life!>

Bird Mouth Wrasses Hi Bob, I purchased a pair of bird mouth wrasses a week ago for my marine tank. They have not been very active, they are constantly buried in the sand.  <Unusual... are these Gomphosus varius?> I understand that they are known to lay on the bottom of the tank but they do not seem to swim around at all. I am also concerned they are not getting enough food because the other fish in the tank are eating their food quite quickly. Is this normal behavior? Will they get enough food for survival? Is there anything I can do to encourage them to become more active? <A week is a good long time for any wrasse species to be hidden... I'd give the sand a gentle stirring to make sure they're still there. Do keep all openings on the tank top well sealed... notorious jumpers. Bob Fenner> Thanks Bob
Sydney Australia

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