The Dusky Wrasse is a relative unknown beauty due to its sporadic appearance in the aquarium trade. The Dusky Wrasse typifies members in the Genus Halichoeres demonstrating gregarious activity once properly acclimated to its new environment. Similarly, colouration varies greatly based on the age and sex of the Dusky Wrasse. Juveniles and females demonstrate muted coloration that contrasts sharply against the magnificence of a male-sporting mating colouration.
The adult male Dusky Wrasse is a true "peacock" sporting a rainbow of vibrant colours that peer through a predominantly dusky blue colouration. Jewel-like red and orange colouration sets off the stunning green crescent-pattern at the base of the caudal fin. A sunny yellow undertone brightens the anterior half of the male Dusky Wrasse to dramatic effect.
The ideal setup for the Dusky Wrasse will be a well-established saltwater aquarium of at least 75 gallons in size aquascaped with live rock. Incorporate a large area of open substrate as well as open spaces for swimming. A sandy substrate layer 2-3 inches in depth provides refuge for the Dusky Wrasse as it burrows into the sand for the evening or when frightened. House the Dusky Wrasse with other peaceful wrasses, including its own species.
The natural diet of the Dusky Wrasse consists of benthic invertebrates and as such, large, hungry Dusky Wrasse will eat fireworms and pyramidellid snails, protecting corals and clams from these undesirable invertebrates. The Dusky Wrasse may also eat parasites off of tank mates. Though this hearty appetite for invertebrates seems beneficial, keep in mind that the Dusky Wrasse cannot differentiate between "undesirable" and "desirable" invertebrates. If the opportunity presents itself, the Dusky Wrasse will most likely make a meal of "desirable" ornamental invertebrates including fan worms, shrimp, and other crustaceans in the home aquarium. However, the Dusky Wrasse typically will not harm sessile invertebrates including soft or stony corals.
In the home aquarium, the diet of the Dusky Wrasse should include vitamin-enriched frozen mysis shrimp and vitamin-enriched frozen brine shrimp. The Dusky Wrasse fish is an active forager that requires frequent small feedings throughout the day.