The Six Line Wrasse Fish. 

A Strange Sleeper

Adorned with violet scales and six distinct horizontal and orange lines up their sides, the six-line wrasse, known scientifically as Pseudocheilinus hexataenia, has no shortage of distinct features and behaviors. In addition to the six orange lines where it gets its name, the six-line wrasse has two bright lines through their red eyes as well as small eyespots at the base of their tail, which are most likely used to scare away predators.

Though striking, one of six-line wrasse’s most notable features is the way it sleeps. The six-line wrasse is a diurnal fish, meaning that they sleep during the night and are awake during the day. While they sleep, they need a means of protection. Once a six-line wrasse has found a hiding place in some coral, it will make itself a cocoon of mucus to ward off nocturnal predators by hiding its scent.   

In the Wild

The six-line wrasse has a vast territory, stretching from the Red Sea to the Indian and the Western Pacific Oceans and down into the Great Barrier Reef of Northern Australia. In the wild, this marine fish is known for being a shy species that lives in the shallow waters and in reefs. Typically, the six-line wrasse will move in small groups and stay close to dense coral where they are protected and feed primarily on crustaceans.

The six-line wrasse has been known to clean other fish species and coral, picking off snails, worms, and any other parasitic creatures.

In the Tank

Though not bred in captivity, this normally shy fish can easily acclimate to tanks. However, once in tanks, they can change personalities, be more active, and can even be aggressive towards other timid species. Because of their slightly aggressive behavior, it’s best to keep six-lined wrasse in a medium-size tank by itself or with other types of fish that have similar personalities. Males and females have similar behaviors, but males are somewhat larger than females and show more vibrant colors during mating periods.

Measuring less than 4” when fully grown, the six-line wrasse is a good addition to tanks as they are generally an easy fish to maintain and can live over 5 years. In a tank, their diets should include small crustaceans or other high protein foods. The six-line wrasse seems to love shrimp, so it’s best to keep wrasse away from shrimp species unless they’re meant to be food.

Beautiful and Interesting

Being a beautiful and interesting fish, it’s no wonder why many aquarists like to feature the six-line wrasse in their tanks. This marine fish can be a good addition to help clean your tank, but make sure it has some coral to hide and sleep in.

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