The Royal Pencil Wrasse males display fuchsia to red markings on their nose which can run under the eyes and then stream past the gill covers to the mid-section of the wrasse. Overall body colour is light green and muted on the underside. Mature males sport a large, dark blotch or “saddle” from the eyes to middle of its back on the upper half of the fish. From the mid-section back, the wrasse displays variations of blue/green and yellow horizontal stripes which end at the base of the blue to indigo coloured tail fin. Female Pencil Wrasse are an overall orange colour with yellow eyes and mostly transparent fins.
For best care, the Royal Pencil Wrasse should be housed in an established, well-filtered aquarium. It is a jumper, so a secure lid on the aquarium is required.
The Royal Pencil Wrasse may be very difficult to keep in an aquarium due to its feeding habits. When first introduced into the aquarium, live feeder brineshrimp or mysis shrimp should be used to entice this fish to eat. It eats very small invertebrates (amphiopods) that grow on live rock. The diet should also include live, small feeder shrimps (brine, mysid) and finely chopped marine meats.