The juvenile Checkerboard Wrasse is white with stripes, dots, and patches of black. With maturity, it becomes silver with a distinctive black checkerboard pattern on the body. The dorsal fin and tail are yellow, and the face is light green with orange to pink striped markings.
A 125 gallon or larger aquarium with a sealed lid, a 2-3 inch sandy bottom to hide under if frightened, and other peaceful wrasses, including its own species, is a suitable environment. In the tank, it will eat fireworms and pyramidellid snails, protecting corals and clams which it will not bother. However, larger specimens may prey on smaller ornamental shrimp and crabs. In addition, it may eat feather dusters, wild shrimp, tubeworms, and flatworms.
The Checkerboard Wrasse diet should include vitamin enriched frozen mysis shrimp, vitamin enriched frozen brine shrimp, and other meaty foods along with a high quality marine flake and marine pellet food.